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P.E.I. de­feats N.L. squad to fin­ish with 3-2 record at Canada Games

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - SPORTS - BY JA­SON MALLOY

Team P.E.I. is com­ing home with a win­ning record and a vic­tory in its fi­nal game of the men’s Canada Games basketball tour­na­ment.

P.E.I. de­feated New­found­land and Labrador 76-65 to fin­ish with a 3-2 record, good for ninth, in Win­nipeg.

Yousef Se­fau, a guard from Char­lot­te­town, said Fri­day’s vic­tory was “huge.”

“Look­ing back in the fu­ture, I will be proud to know that I went to Canada Games with my broth­ers, all of them, and to know we went out in a win,’’ he said. “It’s a def­i­nitely a feel­ing I’ll never for­get – a mem­ory that will stick with me for­ever.”

Head coach Reagh Vid­ito said it was im­por­tant for the team to end the tour­na­ment with a win, en­sur­ing a good fi­nal mem­ory from the Canada Games court.

“When they’re sit­ting on a rock­ing chair some­time (down the road) they can look back and talk about a 3-2 record,’’ said Vid­ito, who coached some of the ath­letes since Grade 1 and 2.

P.E.I. led 20-11 af­ter the first quar­ter, 37-26 at the half and 60-45 head­ing to the fourth.

Zack Wall had a game-high 25 points while John Alex Vos chipped in 13 and Se­fau 10.

Vid­ito said Wall stepped up for the team on Fri­day.

“We re­ally needed him to get to the rim and chal­lenge their guys,’’ he said. “Zach is al­ways kind of that x-fac­tor and to­day he re­ally stepped up and pro­vided what we needed.”

The P.E.I. women’s basketball team cheered for the men’s squad from be­hind the bench, waiv­ing the pro­vin­cial flag and hold­ing signs of sup­port.

“Canada Games is a dif­fer­ent beast,’’ Vid­ito said. “You’re used to play­ing games at na­tional cham­pi­onship where it is your par­ents and a cou­ple of sup­port­ers.

“But to have other ath­letes here and es­pe­cially the girls, a lot of th­ese guys know them very well, it was im­por­tant for our morale.”

Se­fau said Canada Games are about the mem­o­ries made and it ap­pears Team P.E.I. made many as they played their games and sup­ported other Is­land squads at dif­fer­ent venues.

“Straight up, we just have fun all the time,’’ he said. “We come here for basketball, but we come for each other, we have fun and en­joy each other’s pres­ence.”


Team P.E.I.’s Zack Wall, left, drives to the bas­ket dur­ing Fri­day’s men’s basketball game at the Canada Games in Win­nipeg.

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