Sports — 17 January 2018 — by Karim Juan - NEBL Commissioner
Belmopan Bandits to defend home court in Pepsi NEBL season opener on Thursday

SAN IGNACIO TOWN, Cayo District, Mon. Jan. 15, 2018– The National Elite Basketball League (NEBL) will be tipping off its fifth annual basketball tournament on Thursday, January 18. The opening game will be held at the UB gymnasium in Belmopan, and will feature the rematch of last season’s finale, as defending champions, Belmopan Bandits will host San Pedro Tiger Sharks. Tip-off is at 8:30 p.m. The game will be aired live on The National Channel (TNC), starting with a pre-game show at 8:00 p.m.

The home squad, Belmopan Bandits, will showcase their new point guard, Leroy Louriano, who is coming from Belize Hurricanes to partner with his old UB teammate, Farron Louriano.  Belmopan will also be featuring their big man, Trevor Andrews, who hails from Canada. Other new additions to the Belmopan Bandits roster include Quinton Bowen from Dangriga Dream Ballers, Travis Lennan, Brandon Williams, Jamai Avila and Emani Enriquez.  Belmopan lost the services of Edgar Mitchell, Richard Smith III, Keith Acosta and Devin Daly.

San Pedro Tiger Sharks have signed big man Martevuius Adams, who is an American player along with Jihad Wright, a Belizean American.  Other key additions include Andrew “Bynum” Ortiz, Bernard Felix and Emory Bennett.

On Friday night, Verdes, who was once Cayo Western Ballaz, will travel to Belize City to take on Smart Belize Hurricanes.  Tip-off will be at 9:00 p.m. at the Belize Elementary School Auditorium. This is the tentative date for this game, depending on the availability of the venue. If the game is not played this Friday, it will be moved to All Star Weekend on Friday, March 16.

Verdes will be suiting up American big man, Travis Julien, along with Jamie Carbajal, who is returning to his home team.  Verdes’ squad also includes Elvis Usher, Jr., Gene Myvett, Richard Troyer and rookie Antwan McFadzen.

Smart Belize Hurricanes has strengthened their front line with Kurt “Chengo” Burgess and American center, Tyson Reynold. Other key additions to Belize Hurricanes include Keith Acosta, Ray Cruz, Marcus Lewis and Kyle Young.

The game between Belize Hurricanes and Verdes will be played this Friday, January 19, at the Belize Elementary School Gym. Venue availability has been confirmed. Tip-off time is at 9:00 p.m.

When the Belize City Center becomes available, we are hoping that both Belize Hurricanes and Belize City Defenders teams will be able to move to that venue.  The league is hoping that the new facilities will be available and affordable for the teams in Belize City.  A date has not been finalized as yet as to when the Belize City Center will become available.

The game that was initially scheduled for Saturday in Dangriga has been rescheduled due to the unavailability of the Russel Chiste Garcia Auditorium in Dangriga Town.

Fans can visit our website at neblbelize.com to view the season schedule, team rosters, player profiles and team statistics. All games are casted live on our website by simply clicking on the link.

(Amandala Sports Ed. Note: Our sources say that Sports Minister, Hon. Patrick Faber will be out of the country, and so fans have to await his return for the Russel Chiste Garcia Auditorium to be officially inaugurated.  The situation with the Belize City Center may be more complicated, but for now, it is “unavailable.”)

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