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Extended playoff trip shouldn’t hamper road-tested St. John's Edge, says Dunlap

Jeff Dunlap — St. John's Edge photo/Jeff Parsons
Jeff Dunlap — St. John's Edge photo/Jeff Parsons

It’s been six days since the St. John’s Edge finished off the Windsor Express in Game 3 of their first-round National Basketball League of Canada series and head coach Jeff Dunlap says his team “is anxious to get going” as they take on the London Lightning in Game 1 of the Central Division final in the Forest City tonight.

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But Dunlap doesn’t see the layoff having a big effect on his team as it faces an opponent that ended its first-round series Friday.
“We’re road warriors in the true sense of the word and it’s been that way from the get-go this season,” said Dunlap.
We’ve had long road trips, compressed schedules, repetitive games, no breaks, long breaks. We’ve had it all thrown at us.
“I hope all of that comes down to our benefit, now, where nothing fazed us and that we’re ready to go in any conditions.”
The Edge did not return to St. John’s after last Wednesday’s game in Windsor, partly because of uncertainty over when a second-round series against London would begin.
“We couldn’t get a commitment from the league as to when Game 1 would be scheduled,” he said. “So, we were thinking that If we flew home on a Friday or Saturday, was it worth it  when you might have to come back on a Sunday or Monday.
“So we thought it best to stay here (in southern Ontario). We tried to keep it fresh. We practised in different places, different gyms. “We even mixed up our practice schedules in terms of doing some things we don’t normally do.
“And we stayed in Toronto a couple of days rather than getting to London early.”
The latter allowed the Edge to get in some time at the Toronto Raptors practice facility at the Air Canada Centre, while some St. John’s players — Alex Johnson, Wally Ellenson and Carl English — managed to get tickets to take in Game 1 of the Raptors’ first-round playoff series against the Washington Wizards.
Game 2 of the best-of-seven division final is Thursday in London, while Games 3, 4 and 5, the latter if necessary, are Saturday, Monday and Thursday in St. John’s. If the series gets to Games 6 or 7, they’ll be played in London.

brendan.mccarthy@thetelegram.com

Twitter: @telybrendan

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