The UBCO Heat men’s basketball team is facing a must-win scenario this weekend.
In their final two regular-season games, UBCO (7-11) needs to sweep a weekend set against the University of Victoria (6-10) to ensure a playoff berth. The Heat have never made the playoffs in seven seasons since joining Canada West University Sports in 2011.
In Canada West standings, UBCO is 12th, while UVic is 13th. Leading the 17-team pack is the University of Calgary (16-0), while UBC (15-1) is second. The top 12 teams make the playoffs. Last season, UBCO finished last with a 2-18 record.
While this is UBCO’s final two regular-season games, many teams have games on Feb. 1 and 2, including 13th-place UVic, which hosts last-place MacEwan (0-16) twice.
For UBCO captain and fifth-year senior Aldrich Berrios, earning a spot in the playoffs would be a first for him.
“That’s exactly it, knowing that this could potentially be my last two games in my university career,” said Berrios, who is the only senior on the team. “I’m just going to give everything I have. I have no holding back; 100 per cent, which is what I try to every game.
“But I know there is going to be a little extra in the tank, for tonight and tomorrow night. These two games are probably the most important games I have ever played in my career in my five years here.”
For Berrios, the Heat were in a same scenario not so long ago.
“We came down to the same situation in my second year,” he said. “It came down to the very last game and it was between us and MacEwan, and whoever won that game would end up going to the playoffs.
“Of course, we ended up losing. So this time, we want to do it right and end up on the right side of the coin.”
Games are Friday at 8 p.m., and Saturday at 7 p.m. at UBCO.