Canadian Basketball - CEBL Basketball Season 2020

Wednesday, February 19th, 2020

By Tom Wilkinson
Canadian Basketball - CEBL Basketball Season 2020

The CEBL will be the first pro sports league in Canada to return to action since the coronavirus, as the seven teams in the league will play a playoff-type tournament to determine the 2020 champion. The players will return in mid-July for training camp and games will begin on July 25. The games will take place at the Meridian Center in St. Catharines, Ontario with all seven teams having a chance to win the title. Let’s look at the tournament and get ready for CEBL betting at Betcris.

CEBL Summer Series Tournament

The round-robin tournament will begin on July 25 with the games taking place in St. Catharines, Ontario. The CEBL will become the first pro sports league in Canada to return to action.

“The CEBL has been at the forefront of the return-to-play efforts by major sports leagues across Canada, and we’re ecstatic at the prospect of being able to return live professional sports to Canadians,” said Mike Morreale, Commissioner, and CEO of the CEBL. “After exhausting all contingencies to get our teams back on the court this summer, a single-site competition closed to fans but with all games available for free to viewers across the country and internationally, will enable us to again showcase the players who help make Canada the second-leading producer of pro basketball talent in the world.”

CEBL

Morreale added that he was very thankful to the authorities in Ontario for their help. “I would like to thank Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries Lisa MacLeod and her staff for championing the efforts of the return of sports,” Morreale added. “The Province of Ontario recognizes that sports play an important role in boosting the economy, restoring the vibrancy of our communities, and inspiring people of all ages to be active and healthy.

Along with Minister MacLeod, Mayor Walter Sendzik of St. Catharines has shared the CEBL’s vision for the Summer Series and worked with us to facilitate a four-week event that will adhere to medical protocols designed to keep our players, coaches, staff, local public and tournament officials safe. This is a huge undertaking that could not happen without their support, as well as that of medical officers, and the staff of the Meridian Centre, and our training and accommodations partner.”

The first day of training camp for the seven teams will be on July 15th with games beginning on July 25. The schedule will consist of 26 games that will determine seeding for the playoffs. The team with the worst record after 26 games will be eliminated, while the remaining six teams will be seeded into a bracket.

All of the players, coaches, and staff for the teams will be isolated in St. Catharines for the two and a half weeks of the tournament. Players and staff will undergo COVID-19 testing on a regular basis. The CEBL features mostly Canadian players, as about 80% of the players in the league are from Canada.

2020 Saskatchewan Rattlers Schedule

CEBL Schedule - Saskatchewan Rattlers
May 8 at Fraser Valley May 14 Fraser Valley
May 16 at Hamilton May 21 Niagara
May 24 Edmonton May 29 Fraser Valley
June 4 Edmonton June 7 at Ottawa
June 10 at Edmonton June 12 Guelph
June 18 Edmonton June 20 at Fraser Valley
June 27 Ottawa July 2 at Guelph
July 10 at Edmonton July 16 at Niagara
July 18 Niagara July 25 Hamilton
July 30 at Fraser Valley August 5 at Hamilton

The CEBL was the first broadcast on CEBL.tv but in June of 2019, it was announced that CBC Sports would pick up the broadcasting on their platforms. CBC Sports announced a three-year deal with the CEBL to broadcast games. That contract will feature seven regular-season games and the championship game that will be shown on CBC. The CEBL also has a five-year deal with New Era to provide apparel for the league and the league has a three-year deal with Spalding to provide the official league basketballs.

CEBL teams must have at least 70% of their players who are Canadian. The salaries for CEBL players are more per game than those of the players in the NBA G League.

CEBL 2020 Season Preview

The 2020 CEBL season will be the second in league history. The league added the Ottawa Blackjacks as the seventh team for the 2020 season.

CEBL History

The CEBL came into existence in October of 2017 when Niagara River Lions owner Richard Petko of the National Basketball League of Canada decided a new league needed to be started.

He first tried to get the National Basketball League of Canada to improve their business, but when that didn’t work he hired Mike Morreale, a former CFL player to help him with his vision. The two started their own league with Morreale the CEO. The six charter teams were announced in May of 2018 with the Niagara River Lions joining teams in Edmonton, Abbotsford, Guelph, Hamilton, and Saskatoon. Morreale had a vision of getting fans involved in the experience and he said that the league would be a "party wrapped around a basketball game" with "a ton of value for the fans." Morreale said that the league would have plenty of arena entertainment, autograph sessions, and other innovative ideas. The CEBL started with all teams owned by the league but with individual general managers.

The league reached an agreement with New Era in 2018 to provide league apparel and they reached an agreement with Canada Basketball to be recognized as a first division pro league in Canada. The league announced an agreement with Spalding to provide the league basketballs and in 2019 they reached an agreement with CBC to broadcast the games. The team added the seventh franchise in November of 2019 with the Ottawa Blackhawks beginning play in the 2020 season.

CEBL Basketball Season 2020 Teams

Team City Venue Head Coach
Edmonton Stingers Edmonton Expo Centre Jermaine Small
British Columbia Fraser Valley Bandits Abbotsford Abbotsford Centre Kyle Julius
Ontario Guelph Nighthawks Guelph Sleeman Center Charles Kissi
Hamilton Honey Badgers Hamilton First Ontario Centre Chantal Vallee
Ottawa Blackjacks Ottawa TD Place Arena Osvaldo Jeanty
Niagara River Lions St. Catharines Meridian Centre Victor Raso
Saskatchewan Rattlers Saskatoon SaskTel Centre Chad Jacobson

List of past CEBL Champions

Year Champion Runner-up
2019 Saskatchewan Rattlers Hamilton Honey Badgers

The CEBL will get a lot more attention this season, as CBC Sports will live stream all 75 regular-season games and CBC will broadcast seven regular-season games on television and they will also televise the CEBL Championship Final in Edmonton.

2020 Saskatchewan Rattlers Season Preview

How do you avoid a letdown when your team won the inaugural Canadian Elite Basketball League title? That is the question that the Saskatchewan Rattlers will have to answer in 2020, as they defend their championship. The Rattlers went 11-9 last season to finish in third place, but it is all about what you do in the playoffs and Saskatchewan was able to upset Edmonton in the semifinals and they defeated Hamilton in the title game. What can Saskatchewan do for an encore in 2020? Let’s look at the Rattlers, some of the changes they have made, and the 2020 Saskatchewan Rattlers schedule.

The Rattlers defeated the Hamilton Honey Badgers by a score of 94-83 to win the championship last CEBL season. It was a great first season for Saskatchewan, as they led the league in attendance and had the most season ticket holders. “People love a winning team, I think that was showcased here,” said Rattlers owner and COO Lee Genier on the team’s website. “We’re going to continue to build off that.”

The Rattlers will have a new head coach this season, as Chad Jacobson will take over, replacing Greg Jockims who was the team’s coach and general manager last season, and they will have a new GM, as Barry Rawlyk takes the job. “I am thrilled to be working alongside Coach Jacobson with the Rattlers,” said Rattlers GM, Barry Rawlyk on the team’s website. “I’ve been lucky to work with him over the past several years, including the championship-winning season last year and I’m excited to see where his leadership takes us in 2020.

Going through the hiring process and searching across the globe for a head coach, I felt it was important to have continuity in our coaching staff coming off our championship season last year. Returning players will have a familiar face on the bench and he is someone that our players greatly respected during the inaugural season.

I have a great level of confidence having worked with Coach Jacobson in the past not only in his technical abilities but also in his ability to maintain a good relationship with players and build a strong team culture. Coach Jacobson has all the tools to lead this Rattlers team to another championship.”

Surprisingly, the Rattlers were just 4-6 at home last season, but they went 7-3 on the road. They will open up the 2020 season on the road on May 8 when they visit the Fraser Valley Bandits. The home opener for Saskatchewan will take place on May 14 against the Bandits when the Rattlers will unveil their CEBL Championship banner.

Saskatchewan has re-signed Negus Webster-Chan for the upcoming season. He averaged 12.7 points, 4.1 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game last season. He played his college ball at the University of Missouri, and the University of Hawaii at Manoa. He is credited with scoring the first basket in CEBL history. “We are thrilled to have Negus back with us. Negus brings a very high skill set back to the team, and his ability to shoot the ball from the deep range will help to spread the floor on offense,” said Rawlyk. “While Negus had to work his way through a few injuries last season, if he can remain healthy, he will prove to be one of the most productive players in the league.”

The Rattlers have also signed Kenny Ejim. He is playing for Zornotza Saskibaloi Taldea in Spain’s LEB Silver division where he is averaging 12.9 points per game. He attended Humber College of the Ontario College Athletic Association and averaged 14.5 points per game in three years. “We are delighted to have Kenny join the Rattlers for his first stint in the CEBL,” said Rawlyk. “He brings great versatility at both ends of the floor and will impact the game in that way. Kenny is a high-character guy and he will make a great positive impact on the court, in the locker room, and in the community.”

The Rattlers also re-signed Jelane Pryce for this season. He played in 19 games for the Rattlers last season. He finished fifth in the CEBL last season in blocks per game. “We are very pleased to have Jelane back with us in 2020. Jelane is not only a great player but also a great community member who has really taken to Saskatoon,” said Rawlyk. “He is another player that brings great versatility to our line-up, as he can play and guard multiple positions on the floor.”

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