Hoping to give ‘home court advantage’ new meaning, Moosehead Breweries have joined forces with the Saint John Riptide to give away 3,900 tickets to tomorrow night’s home game, a pivotal playoff game against the Moncton Magic.
“We’re going to pack Harbour Station to the rafters,” said Patrick Oland, Chief Financial Officer, Moosehead Breweries. “At Moosehead, we’ve been long-time supporters of the Riptide – in fact, we were founding sponsors of the team. But one company, or one sponsor won’t carry this team to victory. It’s going to take the entire community bringing an unprecedented display of Saint John spirit into that arena tomorrow night.”
Fans can pick up their free tickets at the Harbour Station box office at 99 Station Street. Tickets are available immediately, while supplies last, during box office opening hours (until 5:00 p.m. today and between 10 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. tomorrow). A maximum of four tickets are available per person.
Going into the game, Nelson Terroba is borrowing a page from the New England Patriots’ playbook.
The Riptide head coach has a message for his players as they prepare for their National Basketball League of Canada matchup versus Moncton. It’s one often repeated by New England field general Bill Belichick – do your job.
“It’s just do your job for the first possession, and then do it again for the next, and do it again for 20 in a row, and then comes the second quarter,” says Terroba. “The focus has to be singular in nature and the players have to be in the present.”
The Riptide find themselves down 2-0 in the best-of-five Atlantic Division semifinal, having lost both games in Moncton over the weekend. It’s win or go home for the ‘Tide when they take the court at 7 p.m.
A Riptide win will trigger a Game 4 Thursday night at Harbour Station.
Terroba says he saw a vast improvement in the team’s play between games one and two, although it may not have shown on the scoreboard.
“We did a much better job of getting quality shots,” he says. “I thought we moved the ball better, and also attacked the paint better. Overall, we did a much better job of working the ball on offence. Now, the shots didn’t fall for us, but we had a lot of quality shots from guys who feel like they can make those. I think if we can continue to get good shots like that, that’s all we can ask for.”
The Riptide had an optional shoot-around on Monday before practicing Tuesday. Terroba, who was busy Monday night breaking down game film, says the team may tweak one or two things at both ends of the court for Game 3, but it all comes down to execution against the top-ranked team in the NBLC.
““They’re a quality team and they’re going to make runs,” the Riptide’s second-year bench boss says.
“For our players, it’s play the game that’s in front of you. Everybody has a different way of approaching it, but it can’t be ‘I want to score 20 points because I need to score 20 points tonight.’ “We have to take what the defence gives us and create open shots as a group collectively. And defensively we have to stay focused. Playing at home in front of packed house at Harbour Station, will be good for our guys and we look forward to it.”