SAN IGNACIO TOWN, Sun. Jan. 17, 2016–Leslie brothers dominate in win versus Belmopan Bandits; Jacob sinks 8 three pointers.
The NEBL 2016 season tipped off this weekend with three games on Saturday night. Opening ceremonies took place at the UB gymnasium, followed by the home team, Belmopan Bandits hosting Smart Belize Hurricanes. Bandits jumped out to an early 15-0 lead, but by intermission, the visiting team was up 37-30. The home team was able to take the lead, 58-57, going into the fourth quarter; and with the game tied at 71, Darwin “Puppy” Leslie sank two free throws to give the visitors the victory. Smart Belize Hurricanes was led by rookie Jacob Leslie, who sank 8 three pointers, while shooting 8 for 16 from behind the arc, finishing with a game high 29 points to go along with 4 steals in an impressive debut. Farron Louriano finished with 12 points and 8 rebounds, Darwin “Puppy” Leslie tallied 12 points and 4 assists, and Brian White had 12 points and 8 rebounds. Belmopan Bandits was led by Jarrel Velasquez with 24 points and 5 rebounds, while Kyle Pascascio and Geovanni Lennan scored 11 points each, and Kurt “Chengo” Burgess finished with a double-double of 10 points and 10 rebounds. Smart Hurricanes out-rebounded Belmopan Bandits, 50-43. Bench points were hard to come by for both teams, tallying a total of 14 points combined.
Cayo Western Ballaz silence the Thunderbolts with huge blowout victory
Out west, Cayo Western Ballaz trampled the new franchise, Independence Thunderbolts, 105-52, at the Sacred Heart College Auditorium on Saturday night. Milton James led the way with a double-double, sinking 16 points and pulling 15 caroms, to go with 4 assists, while Winston Pratt also tallied a double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds. Elvis Usher finished the night with 16 points and 4 assists, while Emerson King netted 14 points, and Brandon Flowers recorded a double-double with 11 points and 12 boards. The visiting team, Independence Thunderbolts’ top scorer was Hyram Augustine with 16 points, 3 assists and 3 rebounds, while Alroy Foreman finished the night with 13 points. Cayo Western Ballaz’ bench outscored Independence, 46-14, and the home team led the entire game.
Greg “Chippy” Rudon and Belize City No Limit edge Griga Warriors
Dangriga Warriors traveled to the old capital to take on Belize City No Limit at Bird’s Isle on Saturday night. Belize City No Limit was able to defend their home court with an 80-73 victory. Greg “Chippy” Rudon had the game high 19 points, to go with 7 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals in the win. Lennox Bowman chipped in 11 points, and Marcel Orosco tallied 10 points and 4 rebounds. Rookie sensation Quinton Bowen was the top scorer for Dangriga Warriors with 17 points, 8 rebounds and 3 steals, while Macario Augustine finished with a double-double with 12 points and 14 boards. Daniel “Buddy” Nolberto tallied 12 points, 3 rebounds and 3 steals, while Edgar Mitchell finished the night with 12 points, 5 assists and 3 steals. Dangriga outscored Belize City No Limit 46-32 in the paint, while they were even on bench points at 28 and even on second chance points at 14. Dangriga led most of the game, but the home team finished strong in the fourth quarter.
On Friday night, San Pedro Tiger Sharks will travel to Sugar City to take on Orange Walk Running Rebels at the Orange Walk Multi-Purpose Complex at 9:00 p.m., which is a back match that was scheduled for last Friday night. The defending champs will dust off all their rust on a quest for a three-peat, while Orange Walk Running Rebels will see how they can fill the scoring void that remains with the departure of Randy Usher. Also on Friday night, Cayo Western Ballaz, will play their first road game at Belize Elementary School Gym at 9:00 p.m., as they take on Smart Belize Hurricanes. Winston Pratt will now go into his old venue to try and come out with a win for his new team, Ballaz, as both teams try to remain undefeated.
On Saturday night, Belmopan Bandits will travel to the island to take on San Pedro Tiger Sharks at the San Pedro High School at 9:00 p.m. Belmopan Bandits is ready to post their first victory of the season, while San Pedro Tiger Sharks is shooting to keep their unbeaten home streak alive. San Pedro Tiger Sharks enters season three without a lost on their home court, making it extremely challenging for any team to return from the island with a big W. Also on Saturday night, Orange Walk Running Rebels will travel down south to take on Dangriga Warriors at the Ecumenical College in Dangriga at 8:00 p.m., as both teams will be fighting for their first win of the season. In the last game of the weekend, Independence Thunderbolts will host Belize City No Limit at Independence High School at 8:00 p.m. Belize City No Limit will have the services of Michael Bables, who was leading the league in scoring last season.
All games can be followed live on our website at nebl.sportingpulse.net, with real time box scores while the game is being played. The website also has all game scores, box scores, players’ and teams’ statistics, along with standings for the season.