Ibaka up­lifted by chance with Raps

StarMetro Vancouver - - SPORTS -

Serge Ibaka flashed a wide smile, and said he is ex­cited to play for a win­ner again.

The Toronto Rap­tors hope the new­comer can help turn them back into one.

Ibaka, who was ac­quired in Tues­day’s trade that sent Ter­rence Ross to Or­lando, ar­rived at Air Canada Cen­tre on Wed­nes­day amid re­newed op­ti­mism. The Rap­tors are hop­ing the ath­letic power for­ward can help pull them out of their worst slump in two sea­sons, while Ibaka is happy to be back with a team in the play­off race.

“For me it’s kind of go­ing up again, go­ing back in com­pe­ti­tion again and play­ing for some­thing. I’m very ex­cited,” said Ibaka.

It’s been down, down, down, how­ever, for Toronto the past few weeks. Head­ing into Wed­nes­day’s matchup against visit­ing Char­lotte, the Rap­tors had lost 11 of 15 games. With­out Ibaka in the lineup, Toronto ral­lied for a 100-95 come­back vic­tory.

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