Sports — 16 May 2014 — by Malcolm Hyde
No Limit Soldiers

No Limit Soldiers unable to steal a win in Belmopan, close out reg. season vs red-hot Dangriga Culture Warriors on Friday at Bird’s Isle

The Belize City Smart No Limit Soldiers went into the game against the Belmopan Point Bandits last Thursday, May 8, feeling a bit down on themselves, after having lost to the Cayo Western Ballaz in Belize City the week prior. The loss to the Western Ballaz ultimately ended their hopes of getting the number 2 seed in the playoffs and home court advantage. But, while the Soldiers were bummed out about losing home court in the playoffs, the Point Bandits were fighting to get to the postseason.

The Soldiers went into the game last Thursday with a record of 7-4, while the Point Bandits had a record of 6-6, which left them just out of the 4th seed behind the Dangriga Culture Warriors, who had a 7-6 record on the season.

This game against the Point Bandits in Belmopan was a far cry from what we are accustomed to seeing from the Belize City Smart No Limit Soldiers. The City boys shot 1 for 10 from behind the 3-point line, a decent 14 for 25 from the charity stripe, but only made good on 21 of their 61 two-point shot attempts. When it was all said and done, the home team, Belmopan Point Bandits, got the 71-59 victory over Belize City Smart No Limit.

The Belmopan squad was led by Adam Carswell with 19 points, Christian Rodriguez with 12, and Stephen Williams with 11. On the other side, the top scorers for the No Limit Soldiers were: Brandon Rogers with 13, along with Greg Rudon and Brian White with 10 points apiece.

In addition to the big result for the Belmopan Point Bandits last Thursday night, on Saturday, the Dangriga Culture Warriors shocked everyone when they beat the league leading San Pedro Tigersharks, 58-46, at the Y-Not Island in Dangriga. Then on Sunday, the Belize City Smart No Limit Soldiers journeyed all the way to the PG Sporting Complex in Toledo to face the Toledo Diplomats in their backmatch that was postponed from earlier in the season. But, surprisingly, the Diplomats never showed up (could not field a full team) for the contest, and the Soldiers were awarded the victory.

Now, going into this final weekend of regular season NEBL basketball, there are 3 teams fighting for position, and only 2 will continue to play after this week. (San Pedro Tigersharks and Cayo Western Ballaz are already in the playoffs.) The Belize City Smart No Limit Soldiers and the Dangriga Culture Warriors have identical records of 8 wins and 5 losses; but, because the Soldiers defeated the Warriors earlier this season, they currently have the number 3 seed. So, at this point it’s Belize City at #3, Dangriga at #4, and Belmopan on the outside looking in at #5. The Belmopan Point Bandits, with their record of 7 wins and 6 losses, need 2 things to happen this weekend for them to make it to the playoffs. Number 1, they need to defeat the Cayo Western Ballaz this Thursday in San Ignacio, a Herculean feat in itself. And number 2, they need the Belize City Smart No Limit Soldiers to get a win against the Dangriga Culture Warriors this Friday at Bird’s Isle in Belize City. The reason they need the Soldiers to win is this: points differential. The Point Bandits split both season series with the Soldiers and the Warriors; but, while the points differential against the Warriors is +11, their points differential against the Soldiers is -5.

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