Memorial University’s varsity basketball teams continue their pre-season preparation this weekend at exhibition tournaments on the mainland.
The Sea-Hawk women’s side is in Quebec City for a tourney hosted by the Laval Rouge et Or, last year’s runners-up at the USports national championships.
The UPEI Panthers, who will be among Memorial’s regular-season opponents, and OUA’s Brock Badgers are the other competitors this weekend.
It’s the second and final pre-season tournament for the Lady Hawks, who hosted Winnipeg, Alberta, and Ryerson at the Marie’s Mini Mart Fall Classic last weekend.
Memorial lost all three of its games in the event, and while head coach Mark English said he saw plenty of positives, said the team needs to clean up on defence and improve it rebounding.
"We are going to need to remain focused on the defensive end of the floor this weekend,” said English. “As a team, we will be looking to be committed to winning the glass each game, and continue to build on our fast-pace style of play on offence.
“We had a ton of good things happen this past weekend at home, and I feel if we can clean up some of our mistakes, we will give ourselves a great chance to end our pre-season on a positive note."
The Sea-Hawks open their schedule against Brock this afternoon, take on UPEI on Saturday and finish up Sunday versus Laval.
The Memorial men have travelled even further as they play in the Alberta Golden Bears Invitational beginning tonight in Edmonton.
Like the Sea-Hawk women, the MUN men will be looking for their first-season victory, having lost all three of their games in an exhibition tour of southern Ontario late last month.
Memorial enters the weekend with some injury concerns, but head coach Peter Benoite said that doesn’t change his team’s focus, which — like their female counterparts — will be on their play in their own half of the court.
“We have to play fundamentally good defence this year, and have to be 100 per cent committed on that end of the floor,” said Benoite, whose team will also be facing Grant McEwan College and Lethbridge University in Edmonton.
“If we can make progress in that area, that would help us be ready for the regular season, which is our number one priority this weekend.”
Both Sea-Hawks teams open their regular seasons on the road versus Acadia in Wolfville, N.S.