The UBC Okanagan Heat’s second weekend of Canada West basketball action will take the men’s and women’s teams into Abbotsford.
On Friday and Saturday nights, the Heat will battle the University of Fraser Valley Cascades.
Both UBCO squads started their inaugural CIS campaigns at 0-2 after losses last weekend in Lethbridge and Calgary.
Heat assistant Marc Semeniuk said the first part of the 2011-12 campaign will be a learning experience for the UBCO women.
“I think it’s been a process for us to understand the level of play we need to meet this year,” Semeniuk said.
“The girls haven’t played in these environments yet. We go into these big, nice, new gyms and they’re like ‘whoa’. It’s a little bit nerve racking, but they responded pretty well.”
Over on the men’s side, Heat veteran Simon Pelland said his teammates have had their eyes opened to the quality of basketball they’ll need to play on a nightly basis to be competitive in Canada West.
“We realized it was going to be a whole new ball game,” said Pelland, the 6-foot-7, fifth-year post. “They’re a lot faster, they’re a lot stronger, and every gym we walk into we’re going to have to earn it. It’s not going to come easy for us.
“We know that, the other teams know that, and they want to make an example of us, so we’ve got to bring it every practice and every game.”
Both Heat squads will make their home court debuts next weekend, Friday, Nov. 25 against the University of Regina.
The University of Brandon will visit the UBCO gym the following night.
The women’s game starts at 6 p.m., the men’s at 8 p.m.