Caleb Agada posted game-highs of 17 points, eight rebounds and four assists to lead the Hamilton Honey Badgers past the visiting Montreal Alliance 80-72 on Wednesday in Canadian Elite Basketball League opening night action.
NBA G-league champion Christian Vital and Jeremiah Tilmon added 15 points each for Hamilton (1-0). Koby Mcewen also scored in double digits, tallying 12 points from the bench.
Isiah Osborne had 16 to lead Montreal (0-1), one of the three expansions franchises in the CEBL this season along with the Scarborough Shooting Stars and the Newfoundland Growlers, raising the league's total to 10 teams.
A six-point run by the Honey Badgers to end of the second quarter gave Hamilton a 41-34 lead at halftime. The Alliance didn't go down quietly in its first-ever CEBL contest, rallying to cut the deficit to one point mid-way through the final quarter at 65-64.
Bandits edge BlackJacks
Also on Wednesday, Alex Campbell's contested three-pointer handed the Fraser Valley Bandits a 90-87 road victory over the Ottawa BlackJacks.
The 2019 CEBL finals MVP had team-highs with 23 points and 9 rebounds to lead Fraser Valley (1-0). Deng Adel poured in 37 points for Ottawa (0-1).
A single point separated the teams entering Elam Ending, with Ottawa leading 80-79. The hosts then proceeded to take a 87-83 lead but failed to reach the 89-point target to secure the win.
WATCH l Campbell's Elam Ending 3-pointer powers Bandits over BlackJacks:
Rattlers down River Lions
Scott Lindsey scored 23 points to lift the Saskatchewan Rattlers to a 92-89 home win over the 2021 runner-up Niagara River Lions to conclude the opening night.
Anthony Carr helped the Rattlers (1-0) with 17 points and 10 assists to post the first double-double of the 2022 CEBL season.
Khalil Ahmad led the River Lions with 34 points. The 25-year-old shooting guard hit a 3-pointer from half-court heading into the break to give Saskatchewan (0-1) a four-point lead.
WATCH l River Lions end 1st half in style with Ahmad's half-court basket:
The 2022 CEBL regular season will run from May 25 to August 1. The league made its debut in 2019, with the Rattlers taking the inaugural title. The Edmonton Stingers are the current back-to-back reigning champions.
On Thursday, the Guelph Nighthawks will host the Shooting Stars.
WATCH l A look ahead to the 2022 CEBL season: