(SUMMERSIDE, PE) – The Windsor Express were eliminated from the NBL Canada playoffs with a 109-103 loss in the fifth and deciding game of their semi-final series with the Summerside Storm at Credit Union Place last night.
The Storm moves on to play the London Lightning in the NBL Canada Finals, starting Saturday, April 6, at Budweiser Gardens in London.
In the absence of the team’s leading scorer, Brandon Robinson, due to an ankle injury, Greg Plummer scored 30 points and hauled down 11 rebounds for the Storm. Omari Johnson scored 19 points and had 12 rebounds. Johnson’s offensive put-back, in the final seconds off of a missed free-throw attempt, put his team up 108-103 and clinched the victory for Summerside, which sent the hometown crowd into a frenzy.
The Express were led offensively by Mike Helms, who scored 23 points. DeAndre Thomas had his best game of the playoffs and scored 19 points.
Greg Surmacz and Darren Duncan both had double-doubles. Surmacz had 15 points and 14 rebounds while Duncan scored 12 points and added 10 assists.
Windsor’s leading scorer during the regular season, Chris Commons, rounded out the scoring with 11 points.
The loss puts a damper on an otherwise very successful season for the Windsor Express during the franchise’s inaugural season. After sitting in seventh place in February, the Express steamrolled their opponents in the home stretch of the regular season, winning 12 of their last 14 games and finished in third place. Bill Jones was named the league’s coach of the month in March as the team finished the regular season with seven straight victories.
After splitting the first two games in Summerside and losing game three to the Storm in Windsor, the Express scratched and clawed their way to a game four, double-overtime victory at the WFCU Centre before falling short in the final game of the series.
Darren Duncan, Greg Surmacz and Chris Commons were all named to the NBL Canada All-Star Team. The event will take place in Saint John, New Brunswick, April 13 & 14.