The Halifax Rainmen are starting to make it look easy.
The Rainmen continued to gather steam last night as they wrapped up a perfect Premier Basketball League pre-season with a 128-83 blowout victory over the rival Vermont Frost Heaves before a crowd of 1,824 at the Metro Centre.
They’re now 3-0 and getting better by the game, earning last night’s 45-point demolition after a four-point come-from-behind win over the Manchester Millrats on Saturday and an 18-point triumph over the Quebec Kebs on Sunday.
“Being 3-0 in the pre-season is very big, but we have to realize it’s just the pre-season,” said Rainmen veteran Eric Crookshank, who had a 10-point, 10-rebound double-double.
“It’s good to showcase our talent but we know these teams are going to regroup and come back strong.”
It was no doubt a pleasure for returnees such as Crookshank to put the boots to the new-look Frost Heaves, who have beaten the Rainmen in 14 of 15 games the past two seasons.
Everybody got in on the action, with eight players hitting double figures. Guard Tony Bennett led his team in scoring for the third straight day with 18 points, while Desmond Ferguson was next with 15.
Seven-foot-three Shagari Alleyne put up eight points with 14 rebounds and a whopping six blocks.
The pre-season was an opportunity for many of the team’s key veterans to get comfortable in their roles.
“Everybody was brought here for a specific reason,” Crookshank said. “If everybody plays their roles and plays defence, this team will be fighting for a championship.”
The Rainmen feature five first-year pros and many of them saw significant floor time this weekend. It was a chance to prove themselves and adjust to the pro game.
One of them, point guard Adris Deleon, got a rude welcome to the PBL when Millrats star Al Stewart shut him down in the opener, but bounced back with 18- and 11-point outings.
“Every day I’m learning,” said Deleon, an NCAA Division I product of Eastern Washington. “The first game, I was struggling, but my coaches said, ‘Don’t worry, keep playing hard, keep being aggressive.’ It was a good experience.”
Halifax Rainmen pre-season points-per-game leaders:
• Tony Bennett – 24.0
• Desmond Ferguson – 11.7
• Eric Crookshank – 11.7
• Mark McCarroll – 11.7
• Gary Ervin – 11.0
• Adris Deleon – 11.0
• Gordon Malone – 9.3
• Jevohn Shepherd – 7.0
• Garry Gallimore – 5.3
• Shagari Alleyne – 4.0
• Lonnell Shuler-Jones – 2.7
• Devon Norris – 1.7