Sports — 19 May 2015 — by Karim Juan - NEBL Commissioner
NEBL regular season closes with a huge splash; #4 seed still up for graps

SAN IGNACIO TOWN, Sun. May 17, 2015–The NEBL regular season closed, with an exciting weekend of action, as three teams jostled for home court advantage, while two teams faced a win-or-go-home game down in Dangriga, with the winner claiming the fourth and final playoff spot. The NEBL will now move into playoffs this coming weekend, where the #1 seed will host the #4 seed, and the #2 seed will host the #3 seed. Both the semifinals and the finals will be best-of-three series, with the #1 and #2 seeded teams having home court advantage in the first round.

Fans are reminded that all games have a live webcast with the game scores, play-by-play analysis and the box scores. Fans can follow every game live on our webpage, as scores are in real time. The NEBL webpage also contains news, team standings, and player statistics, and it can be found at nebl.sportingpulse.net

Western Ballaz tame Red Taigaz, claiming #1 seed in playoffs

On Saturday night, Belmopan Red Taigaz (7-5) hosted the Cayo Western Ballaz (9-3) at the UB gymnasium in Belmopan. Cayo Western Ballaz jumped out to a great start with a 13-0 lead, but Belmopan was able to tie the score by the half, 24-24. However, both teams were struggling on offense, and the Western Ballaz was able to seal the game at the free throw line, winning 53-43. Cayo Western Ballaz was led by Richard Troyer, who had the game high with 18 pts and 7 rebs, after returning from a three game absence, due to injury. Akeem Watters finished the night with a double-double of 17 pts and 13 rebs, while Elvis Usher, Jr. scored 7 pts and grabbed 6 boards. Belmopan recorded one of the lowest scoring outputs in the NEBL over the past 2 years, as they scored only 43 pts for the entire game. Belmopan’s top scorer was Stephen “Muerte” Williams who tallied 9 pts and 7 boards, while Terrel Eskridge had 8 pts with 5 rebs and 3 steals. Travis Lennen finished the night with 8 pts and 7 rebs, while Jarrel Velasquez tallied 7 pts with 7 boards. With the loss, Belmopan Red Taigaz fell to the #3 seed entering the playoffs, while Cayo Western Ballaz would claim the #1 seed if San Pedro loses to Orange Walk Running Rebels.

Running Rebels upset Tiger Sharks

On Saturday night, the defending champions San Pedro Tiger Sharks (8-4) traveled to Orange Walk Town to take on the Orange Walk Running Rebels (2-10), where the home team stunned the defending champs, claiming only their second win of the season with a 91-85 victory. Orange Walk Running Rebels’ top scorer was Randy Usher, who had the game high with 33 pts on 59% shooting from the field, while sinking 10 of 11 free throws. Roger Reneau finished the night with 16 pts, 6 rebs, 5 assists and 3 steals; and Alton Herrera tallied 10 pts and 4 rebs. In a losing effort, San Pedro Tiger Sharks was led by Milton James, who recorded another double-double with 23 pts and 10 rebs, while Ashton Edwards also scored 23 pts with 3 steals. Darwin “Puppy” Leslie finished the night with 17 pts, 3 rebs and 2 assists. With the loss, San Pedro fell to the #2 seed, as Cayo Western Ballaz was able to defeat Belmopan Red Taigaz and claim the #1 seed and home court advantage throughout the playoffs.

Controversy in Dangriga leaves game undecided; the #4 seed still up for grabs

Belize Yellow Pages Hurricanes (5-6) traveled to the cultural capital on Saturday night to take on the Dangriga Warriors (5-6), where the winning team would claim the fourth and final playoff spot, and the losers will start re-building for next season. With just under 7 minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, an altercation ensued with a fan and a referee; and as a result, the game was called off for security reasons. This game is scheduled to be finished on Monday night, where the winner will claim the fourth and final playoff spot, to take on the Cayo Western Ballaz.

FLASH!! Warriors vs Hurricanes at UB gym on Tuesday; no fans allowed

BELIZE CITY, Mon. May 18, 2015

As we were going to press, we received an email tonight at 9:54 p.m. from NEBL Commissioner Karim Juan stating that the (Appeals Committee) ruling is as follows:

   ”The Dangriga Warriors and Belize Yellow Pages Hurricanes will complete the remaining 6 minutes and 58 seconds of their game on Tuesday, May 19, at the UB gymnasium in Belmopan. No fans will be allowed in the arena. Only 25 personnel from each team will be granted access to the UB gym. The winner of this game will advance to the playoffs as the #4 seed.”

Playoff match-ups

The defending champions, San Pedro Tiger Sharks will be the #2 seed going into the playoffs, where they will host the Belmopan Red Taigaz as the #3 seed. San Pedro Tiger Sharks will have the home court advantage in this best-of-three series, where the teams split their regular season matchups. In the first game of the regular season, San Pedro Tiger Sharks blew out the Belmopan Red Taigaz by 35 points; but in the rematch, Belmopan was able to blow out the defending champs by 20 points. Both games took place at the UB gymnasium.
In the second match-up series, Cayo Western Ballaz will be the #1 seed going into the playoffs, and they will take on the winner of the Belize Hurricanes and Dangriga Warriors game. Cayo Western Ballaz was able to sweep the 2 game series against both teams in the regular season.

Upcoming playoff games

Both playoff series will be best-of-three series, where the team that wins two games first will advance to the NEBL Finals. On Friday night, the #1 seed, Cayo Western Ballaz (9-3) will host the #4 seed, either Dangriga Warriors or Belize Hurricanes at the Sacred Heart College Auditorium in San Ignacio Town at 9:00 p.m. On Saturday night, the defending champions and the #2 seed entering the playoffs, San Pedro Tiger Sharks (8-4) will host the #3 seed, Belmopan Red Taigaz (7-5), out on the island at the San Pedro High School at 9:00 p.m. Also on Saturday night, Cayo Western Ballaz will travel to either Dangriga or Belize City to take on the winner of the Dangriga Warriors and Belize Hurricanes game.
Standings at the end of regular season

GP- Games Played, W – Won, L – Loss and Pts – Points
** Clinched playoff spot

NEBL 2015 – Basketball at its best!

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