Pilots playing exhibition match against Eastern Washington for disaster relief Sunday

By Kyle Garcia | October 29, 2017 4:54pm

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Pilots prepare to break the huddle in a conference game last year. 

by Meah Ortiz / The Beacon

On Sunday, Oct. 29th at 5:00 p.m., the Portland Pilots and Eastern Washington Eagles men’s basketball teams will play in an exhibition game at the Chiles Center. The game is benefitting the disaster relief efforts of the American Red Cross in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.

The NCAA approved the waiver request as a part of their initiative to support disaster relief across the country. The tickets cost $10 for adults and $5 for children and all proceeds from ticket sales go directly to hurricane relief efforts. The American Red Cross is also accepting donations at both the basketball game as well as the men’s soccer game that same day at 3 p.m. Fans are also encouraged to donate through the American Red Cross website if they are unable to go to the games.

Both teams have close ties to Puerto Rico. Logan Emory, an assistant coach and alum of UP, played on the island professionally, as well as freshman guard Jojo Walker being from Carolina, Puerto Rico and having close relatives impacted by the natural disaster.

"This is a great opportunity for the Portland community to support a worthwhile cause," head coach of the men’s basketball team Terry Porter said. "Almost everybody has been impacted, or knows of someone that has been impacted, by these disasters. We have seen it up close with JoJo and his family. It puts things in perspective and we are happy to be able to contribute in whatever way we can."

The Pilots finished last season with a disappointing 11-22 record, losing at one point 14 straight games and finishing ninth in the conference. They have an almost entirely new roster this year, with nine newcomers and only four returning players. According to hoopscoop.com, the Pilots brought in the 10th best recruiting class in the nation, which is the best ranking amongst WCC teams and the second best amongst mid-major schools.

The team also finished their foreign tour in England this summer with a 3-1 record, with their only loss coming off a buzzer beater to Leicester. This is the first of two exhibition games before they start the season, their second game being Lewis and Clark on Nov. 4. They’ll start the regular season off against the Portland State Vikings on Nov. 11 in the Chiles Center. They will also play in the PK80 Invitational over Thanksgiving weekend in the Rose Quarter.

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