Coming out of a timeout down three with just 11.4 seconds left in the game, the Raptors 905 ran a basic play that ended with a poorly timed turnover and take-foul. The Celtics won 115-112, spoiling Monday night’s reunion between Dalano Banton, Christian Koloko, and the 905.
The play started with big man Reggie Perry at the top of the key, immediately passing it to Banton on the right wing and setting a flare screen on the pursuing Tony Snell to create space. Banton darted across the court along the perimeter to find a spot to shoot a three. Maine sniffed out the play right away with Denzel Valentine instantly switching onto Banton to not only prevent a jump shot, but to also get a clean swipe on the ball as Banton dribbled. The second-year pro from Rexdale, Ont. was then forced to foul Valentine, effectively ending the game.
It was a tough loss considering the close nature of a game that saw 12 ties and 12 lead changes with neither team able to create significant separation until the final possession. The 905’s first loss of February drops them to 8-6 on the season. The Maine Celtics improved to 10-7, placing them just above the 905 in the Eastern Conference standings.
Banton, who last played in the NBA G League on Jan. 12 against the Motor City Cruise, put up a team-high of 22 points, albeit on 24 field goal attempts. He started the game in a groove, going 4-of-6 from the field in the first quarter. He went 4-of-18 the rest of the way, struggling with his shot once the Celtics defence keyed in on the 23-year-old.
Rookie Christian Koloko also rejoined the 905 after a brief two-week stint travelling with the Toronto Raptors on their seven-game road trip. He double-doubled with 10 points and 10 rebounds. He was nearly matched in size against the 6’10” Luka Šamanić and the 7’0” Reginald Kissoonlal. Their physicality was enough to keep him from being as aggressive as he had been against the Wisconsin Herd and the smaller Birmingham Squadron..
Šamanić is a stretch five whose floor spacing caused problems for the 905 all night. He made four-of-seven triples, scoring 23 points in total while grabbing a game-high 12 boards. He was a defensive force as well, especially around the basket.
Returning to his home country of Canada was Celtics shooting guard Marial Shayok. He had quite the homecoming, scoring a game-high 27 points and five threes on 56.2 FG% in front of Canadian basketball icon Glen Grunwald who’s now a scout for the Memphis Grizzlies.
The Ottawa-born Canadian was drafted in the 2nd round of the 2019 NBA Draft by the Philadelphia 76ers. He played four games for the Sixers all season, spending most of his time with their NBA G League affiliate the Delaware Blue Coats. He averaged 22.4 points, 5.7 rebounds and 3.7 assists across 36 games. After getting waived the following off-season, he took his talents to the Turkish Super League from 2020-2022. He joined the Maine Celtics training camp roster last October. He’s the only basketball player from Ottawa to be drafted by the NBA and play on an NBA court.
Fellow Canadian teammate Mfiondu Kabengele is currently with the Boston Celtics.
The standout player of the day for the 905 was Ryan Hawkins, who scored a career-high 17 points on six-of-seven shots. He showcased his shot making ability, going two-of-three from beyond the arc. He also showed he could handle driving to the basket through contact, even controlling a near fumble well enough to convert it into a volleyball style bucket.
Reggie Perry came off the bench Monday night for 16 points, five rebounds and six assists. Jeff Dowtin Jr. started and had 15 points on seven-of-12 made shots. His playmaking was also on point today with seven dimes and zero turnovers.
Ron Harper Jr. played with some infectious energy today, getting great looks in the restricted area throughout the night making all five of his two-point attempts for 13 points. However, he missed all four of his three-point attempts.
The Raptors 905 hosted a Capes for Kids Night with Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital and Pascal Siakam’s PS43 Foundation Canada. The crowd at Paramount Fine Foods Centre, led by Raptors star Siakam, donned red capes in support of the fundraising campaign to raise $1 million to help children and youth with disabilities. A portion of proceeds from game tickets purchased using a special promo code supported the hospital’s Capes for Kids annual fundraising campaign.
Attendees also attempted to break the Guinness World Record for having the largest gathering of people wearing capes, a record which previously stood at 2,266. The 2,854 fans wearing capes set the new world record.
“We did it, we did it!” said Siakam in an address after the record-breaking announcement. “I told you guys to join my team, and I guess you did better. Every dollar that you raised, the PS43 foundation is going to match up to $100,000. So, let’s go!”
The 905 have a rematch against the Maine Celtics in a school-day game on Wednesday 11:00am est. at home.
Raptors 905 vs. Maine Celtics game one box score click HERE