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Stingers desperate for wins in makeshift Calgary home at Basketball Champions League Americas

The 2021 CEBL champion Edmonton Stingers are returning to a home — of sorts — for the third and final window of group play at the FIBA Basketball Champions League Americas (BCLA) competition.

After heading to Nicaragua for the first two windows of play in December and early March, the Stingers will call WinSport Arena in Calgary, home for their fifth and sixth games of the tournament on Monday and Wednesday.

The Stingers played the group-leading Cangrejeros on Monday at 9:30 p.m. ET before facing Real Estelí, the runner-up of the 2021 tournament, on Wednesday at 9:30 p.m. ET. Both matches will be streamed live on CBC Gem, the CBC Sports app and CBC Sports’ website.

Sandwiched in between those two games will be Cangrejeros versus Estelí on Tuesday, a contest that has implications on the Stingers’ seeding.

Edmonton currently sits in third in their three-team group with a 1-3 record, trailing the 3-1 Cangrejeros and 2-2 Estelí, but a quarter-final berth is still within reach. The Stingers need just a top-two finish in Group A to qualify for the Final 8, set for early April.

The top two teams in each of the four groups will play a single-elimination tournament to crown a champion, with a spot at the 2023 FIBA Intercontinental Cup on the line.

Playing from behind in the group, stacking losses on Monday and Wednesday would eliminate the Stingers from the BCLA competition.

The bare minimum that Edmonton needs to accomplish in the third window to still have a chance to advance would be winning Wednesday’s game against Estelí.

Should the Stingers beat Estelí but lose their Monday game against Cangrejeros, they would need Cangrejeros to return the favour by topping Estelí on Tuesday. This result would see the Stingers take second in the group via tiebreak over Estelí.

If Edmonton wins both games, they would only be guaranteed a top two finish if Cangrejeros beats Estelí. Should the Stingers win both games and Estelí also beats Cangrejeros, the most convoluted scenario will play out with a three-way tie for first. Given Edmonton’s current point differential of -72 in four games so far, compared to +58 for Cangrejeros and +14 for Estelí, the situation would likely not favor the Stingers.

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