Aija Salvador battles a lot. One thing she could do without are flailing arms to her face.
Now that Salvador plays basketball at the college level, she takes even more elbows to the mouth than she did during high school play.
At 5-foot-5, the Camosun Charger is smaller than most in the B.C. Colleges Athletics Association. But Salvador’s found she’s able to excel despite looking up to most of her college competitors.
She’s been leaned on as the Chargers’ top scorer this season. Her 252 points are third in the league.
When she’s on her game, little gets in her way. Except for the elbows to the mouth thing, that is.
“Unfortunately I seem to be perfect elbow height for the opposition’s forearms,” said Salvador with a grimace.
Thanks to the spastic arms of her opponents, Salvador was bloody lipped for two straight games this season when she was twice bopped in the mouth during the Christmas Classic holiday tourney hosted at PISE.
But Salvador has proved as tough as she is crafty, and knows it gets her team a couple of foul shots from the free throw line.
“I get to shoot more here (than high school). Lots of two’s and three’s from the perimeter, just because (the BCCAA) is so clogged in the middle,” Salvador said.
She shoots so much the rookie from Oak Bay High is fourth in scoring for the BCCAA, averaging 19.4 points per game. Sadly for the Chargers this is most likely Salvador’s only season there, as she will likely transfer to the CIS for the upcoming season.
So too will all-star teammate Chelsea McMullen, who is fourth in league scoring (18.7 ppg, 206 pts) and wants to complete her education degree at UVic. Though McMullen isn’t sure if a spot on the Vikes team is in her future, she says she’ll be moving there regardless.
The Chargers men’s and women’s teams are home to the UNBC Timberwolves for the weekend. Game time today (Feb. 4) is women at 6, men at 8 p.m., then at 1 and 3 p.m. Saturday at PISE.
UNBC (10-3) are sitting two wins ahead of the Chargers (8-5) in fourth place in the women’s standings.
A sweep of UNBC would be ideal but the Chargers need at least one win to stave of the fifth place Langara Falcons (7-5).