Photo by Alex D'Addese

Rams exhibition matchup against China a huge success

By Jessica Pincente

TORONTO - The Ryerson Rams men’s basketball team fell 78-73 to the Chinese Men’s National Team at the Mattamy Athletic Centre on Tuesday evening, playing in front of a sold-out crowd in Ryerson’s first exhibition matchup of the offseason.

A night of tough competition saw both teams enjoy the fiery atmosphere both on and off the court. Though the Rams didn’t walk away with a win, Ryerson head coach Roy Rana says the game holds value beyond that of what is reflected on the scoreboard.

“It was phenomenal for us to play in front of a crowd like this,” says Rana. “It’s great for our program and great for our guys to face national team players and gage themselves. It was a win-win for everybody.”

Red Chinese flags stretched across the crowd for as far as the eye could see, sharply contrasting against the blue and yellow walls of the Coca-Cola Court. Chants erupted constantly as Toronto’s Chinese community came out in abundance to show support for their team.

“Playing a national team - it’s a different caliber than a university team,” notes fifth-year senior Filip Vujadinovic (Burlington, Ont.). “You’re playing the best of the best.”

Though the Rams would ultimately lose the exhibition matchup, the team was in high spirits after a strong effort against China.

Myles Charvis (Mississauga, Ont.), a fifth-year guard, notes he liked the way the team overcame adversity in the game.

“We’re a young team and the sky is the limit for us,” says Charvis. “We walk away with a different score than we had wanted, but we know we put in that hard work and I’m happy with that.“

A slow start to the game saw the Rams trailing 45-32 heading into halftime. Strong second-half performances by Ryerson veterans Vujudinovic and Charvis gave the team an edge in the third quarter, but the Rams would ultimately come up five points short in the 78-73 defeat.

China’s Jin Qui Hu recorded the only double-double of the game, collecting 26 points and 14 rebounds in 29 minutes of play while shooting 91% (10-for-11) from the field.

An exciting game on both sides ended with a victory for Team China, but the Rams walked off the court with their heads held high after a strong showing against their top-caliber opponents.

The Rams will enjoy some time off before facing off in another exhibition matchup later in the summer. The team is set to take on the Duke Blue Devils on August 15, 2018, at the Paramount Fine Foods Centre in Mississauga (formerly Hershey Centre) - more information on that game can be found here.


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