okanagan heat

October 17, 2012, CALGARY, AB – The UBC Okanagan men’s basketball team finished the Calgary Cup with just one win in three games, but the tournament gave the team a chance to size up their CIS (Canadian Interuniversity Sport) competition for the upcoming season playing Brock, Windsor and Western over three days (Oct 11-13) in Calgary.

“It was a great chance to see where we are at,” said the team’s leading scorer from last season Yassine Ghomari, a guard from Vancouver going into his fourth year, after playing in the Calgary tournament that gave him a chance to play and watch other CIS schools at this point in the season.

Head coach for UBC Okanagan, Pete Guarasci, echoed his guard’s sentiments on the three games: “The Calgary Cup was an excellent opportunity to see up close what Canada West and OUA teams are like. It gave us a good idea of the level we will need to compete at to be successful,” explained the coach.

The Jack Simpson Gym on the University of Calgary campus was the site for all three of the Heat’s games of the tournament. On Thursday night the Heat were edged by Brock 73-68, on Friday UBC Okanagan was the victor over Western (75-73), and on Saturday the Heat were unable to contain Windsor, falling to the Lancers 84-57.

The leading scorer for the Heat in two out of three games was fourth year wing, Azi Fahandeg-Sadi (Kelowna, BC), he led the team on Thursday with 15 points, on Friday he tallied 21 (3-3 from three), and on Saturday Azi struggled scoring only eight points. In the Saturday game the Heat were led in scoring behind freshman Mitch Goodwin’s (Guard, Kelowna, BC) 13 points.

Coach Pete Guarasci was pleased the way his Kelowna point guard performed in his first CIS action: “Mitch became more and more comfortable as the tournament progressed. He’ll continue to develop and will be an important piece for this program moving forward.”

The undersized Heat squad’s work on the glass over the three days also pleased the UBC Okanagan coach, a renowned international post player and rebounder himself; as the Heat won the rebounding battle in two of three games (43/32-Thu, 39/29-Fri, and 39/40-Sat).

Ed Dane Medi (4th year, Rome, IT), the only member of the team to have played continuously with the Heat for longer than two years – in fact he has been on the team since coach Guarasci was an assistant in 2009, finished the tournament with 23 rebounds over the three games. Medi was equaled by guard Anwar Faza (3rd year, Ottawa, ON) hauling in 23 of his own.

The rebounding of his squad is just one of the positives that Guarasci has taken from the three CIS games and he looks forward to the teams coming improvements. “We have a very competitive group that are committed to improving, Guarasci adds, and he points out that his squad will “have work to do” and continue to “establish our identity” but that he is “very excited about the challenges ahead.”

The next challenge for the Heat will be when they play against another OUA (Ontario University Athletics) squad when York University invades the UBC campus in the Okanagan on Thursday night at 7 p.m. (Oct. 18). UBC Okanagan’s final preseason match will be in Kelowna at UBC when they host Montana State-Northern Sunday afternoon at 3 p.m.