The expansion Winnipeg Sea Bears are set to make their Canadian Elite Basketball League (CEBL) debut in a Saturday night matchup at home against the Vancouver Bandits 7 p.m. CT at Canada Life Centre. The game will be broadcasted live on TSN+, CEBL+ Powered by BetVictor, and on the CEBL Mobile app available on iOS and Android devices.

The two teams will look to make an early-season statement in the newly formed CEBL Western Conference. Ahead of its milestone fifth season, the CEBL restructured their model of competition, separating the league’s 10 teams into eastern and western conferences.

Winnipeg’s opening weekend roster features a heavy dose of local talent.

All in all, there will be three Winnipeg locals suiting up for the Sea Bears, including three-year CEBL veteran centre Chad Posthumus. The River East Collegiate product won a CEBL championship with the Edmonton Stingers in 2019 and put up six double-doubles with the Ottawa BlackJacks last season. He now sets his sights on leading his hometown’s new team to victory as the franchise’s inaugural signing.

Another Winnipegger to watch will be Simon Hildebrandt, a University of Manitoba product selected first overall in this year’s U SPORTS draft. The six-foot-nine forward amassed 16.8 points per game and shot better than 45 per cent from the field last year for the Bisons on his way to earning U SPORTS Rookie of the Year.

Guard Justus Alleyn will round out the local contingent. The three-year professional veteran last played in the Czech Republic after a historic 2018 senior season with the University of Manitoba Bisons that saw him capture the Canada West scoring title and conference First Team honours.

The Sea Bears’ American wings also look to figure heavily into their rotation, with former Western Athletic Conference scoring champion Teddy Allen and Cal State Fullerton star E.J. Anosike joining the group. Allen brought key scoring to the Scarborough Shooting Stars for a seven-game stint last season, while Anosike is coming off eight games in the NBA G League this year.

Vancouver will look to improve upon the franchise-record 12 wins they earned in last year’s regular season with their sights set on a CEBL Championship Weekend berth in their home city. The league named the Bandits the host team of the Aug. 11-13 tournament in a release following the 2022 season.

Head coach Kyle Julius, who led the Bandits to the CEBL Finals in 2020, is returning behind the bench this summer after spending the previous two years as the team’s general manager. The Bandits are returning three players from their 2022 roster, including the franchise’s all-time scoring leader, Alex Campbell.

In total, the trio of returnees—Campbell, Malcolm Duvivier and Shane Gibson—will be expected to bear the brunt of the offensive workload. Duvivier and Gibson both ranked in among the league’s top five in three-point field goal percentage in 2022. 

Although the rest of the Bandits’ roster will feature many new faces, they won’t be lacking in height. Vancouver has five players who stand between six-foot-nine and six-foot-11 in their opening weekend lineup.

Notably, fans should expect Stefan Jankovic, a free agent acquisition, to protect the rim. For the Bandits. A six-foot-11 centre from Mississauga, Ont., Jankovic has four years of NBA G League experience under his belt. In 2021-22, he played in Taiwan under Bandits Head Coach Julius with the Plus League’s Formosa Dreamers. He averaged over 18 points and eight rebounds with the team last year.

Tickets are available at Full broadcast schedule of CEBL Games of the Week on TSN can be found here. All games will be livestreamed internationally on the CEBL’s OTT platform, CEBL+ and the CEBL Mobile app for iOS and Android devices.




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