Philip Scrubb's game-winning three-pointer sealed the Niagara River Lions' 84-82 win over the Fraser Valley Bandits on Friday in Edmonton to advance to Sunday's CEBL title game.
With a screen set in front of him, Scrubb held possession for a few seconds until deciding to pull the trigger despite Shaquille Keith's defending.
Fraser Valley had went on a 5-0 run to go up 82-81 after Niagara's Lloyd Pandi, the U Sports Player of the Year, hit a three to make it 81-77 with the target score of the Elam ending being 84.
In a game where the Bandits had already had to rally earlier in the game, their effort just wasn't enough to overtake the River Lions' timing to close the game.
Coming out of the first quarter up 23-13, Niagara eventually surrendered a comfortable lead as the Bandits fought their way to having a chance to advance.
With the score set at 75-71 at the start of the Elam Ending for Niagara, Fraser Valley failed to close the gap until after Pandi's three. Brandon Gilbeck scored four of nine points within the 5-0 run to go up 82-81.
Gilbeck, the Defensive Player of the Year, also grabbed a game-high 14 rebounds. Alex Campbell led the way in scoring for the Bandits with 19 points followed by Kenny Manigault, who finished with 18 points and seven assists.
The River Lions had five players in double-figure scoring, led by Javin Delaurier who posted 20 points 10 rebounds. Daniel Mullings added 17, along with Pandi's 14, and Jaylen Babb Harrison's 12 points off the bench.
Niagara will face the winner between the Ottawa BlackJacks and Edmonton Stingers on Friday.
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