Heat opens pre-season Saturday at Immaculata

First-year head coach Pete Gaurasci and his UBC Okanagan Heat men
First-year head coach Pete Gaurasci and his UBC Okanagan Heat men's basketball squad will host the Seattle Mountaineers for a pair of exhibition games this weekend.
— image credit: Fred Schaad/Contributor

Basketball fans will get a preview look at the 2012-13 edition of the UBC Okanagan men's squad on Saturday night at Immaculata High School.

The Heat will take on the Seattle Mountaineers in a 7 p.m tip-off, as UBCO prepares for its second full season of Canada West competition.

First-year head coach Pete Guarasci is excited to see his squad take to the hardwood for the first time in a game format.

"Just to see the team compete together, to see how the guys support each other on the court will be nice," said Guarasci, who takes over from Darren Semeniuk after eight seasons on the job. "They've been working hard…it's still early but it's just good to get an idea of how they're going to play together to find out a bit about what our identity is going to be.

"Once you get against good competition for real, then you can really identify your strengths and weaknesses."

The Heat has a solid corps of veterans, including one fifth-year and five fourth-year players. UBCO also has five rookies.

"This year's team is a real mix of experience and youth," Guaracsi said. "It's going to be interesting to watch and see how they work together and develop as a team."

The Mustangs boys team will serve as game hosts on Saturday, while the Kelowna Minor Basketball Association will be putting on a Nash night with the first 150 Nash league players receiving a free T-shirt.

The Heat and Mountaineers will meet again on Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m. at UBCO.

Immaculata will host the Heat again on Friday, Sept. 28 when UBCO takes on Langara College in an exhibition game in a 7 p.m. start.

The Heat, which went 3-15 in its first season in the CIS, opens the new Canada West season Nov. 2 and 3 in Victoria against the Vikes.

Men's volleyball

In exhibition action the Heat men’s volleyball team will start its season with some international flair, as they will host the Argentinean U23 men’s national team for a pair of matches at UBC’s Okanagan campus Friday and Saturday, Sept. 21 and 22. The high-flying action will get underway Friday night at 8 p.m., and both teams will play an encore match Saturday at 7 p.m.

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