High flying Fraser Valley Bandits forward Jelan Kenrick jams one down in a win against the Hamilton Honey Badgers last week. (Fraser Valley Bandits photo)

Playoff hopes fading fast for Fraser Valley Bandits

The 0-9 hole the basketball team dug early in the CEBL season may be too much to overcome.

The Fraser Valley Bandits kept their slim playoff hopes alive with a home-court win Thursday night, dumping the Hamilton Honey Badgers 98-75 at the Abbotsford Centre.

But a Saturday night road loss (80-71) to the league-leading Niagara River Lions has things looking bleak.

The Bandits have won four of their last six games after losing their first nine of the season. But because they dug themselves into that deep hole, their overall record is still just 4-11. And with just five games left on the Canadian Elite Basketball League’s regular season schedule, time’s almost run out on their postseason chances.

The Honey Badgers (8-7) are the team the Bandits need to catch, and they’re four games in arrears with five games remaining.

They’ve entered ‘win out and get some help territory.’

But whether they make it or not, the Bandits have turned a potentially disastrous inaugural season into something better with their play over the last month.

A balanced attack led them to victory against Hamilton, with six players hitting double digits in points against Hamilton. Forward Jelan Kendrick led the attack with a game-high 22 points, adding six rebounds.

Abbotsford native Marek Klassen chipped in 16 points, including a trio of clutch three pointers. He also handed out nine assists.

In the loss to Niagara, the Bandits actually held a three point lead around the midpoint of the fourth quarter, throwing a scare into the Ontario powerhouse before finally falling.

”We put forward a good defensive performance, but ultimately we need to do a better job of executing down the stretch,” said Fraser Valley bench boss Peter Guarasci.

The Bandits are back home hosting the Saskatchewan Rattlers (6-8) Thursday night, with a 7 p.m. tipoff at the Abbotsford Centre.

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