Sports — 24 March 2015 — by Karim Juan - NEBL Commissioner
NEBL wraps up Round 1 of 2015 tournament

SAN IGNACIO, Sun. Mar. 22, 2015–The National Elite Basketball League (NEBL) wrapped up its first round games this past weekend, as teams are beginning to figure out each other, making most of the games really exciting and competitive. Fans are reminded that all games have a live webcast, where the play-by-play, along with box scores, are available for all games. Fans can follow every game live on the internet, where scores are in real time, via our website at nebl.sportingpulse.net

Hurricanes secure huge home victory

On Friday night, the Dangriga Warriors (3-4) traveled to the old capital to take on the Belize Yellow Pages Hurricanes (3-4) at the Belize Elementary Gym in Belize City. The Warriors jumped out to a 16 pt lead, but by the end of the third quarter, that huge lead was cut down to 1 pt, 49-48, after which the home team pulled away to secure the 68-61 victory. This win was huge for the Hurricanes, as they are now in a 2-way tie for the fourth and final playoff spot with the Warriors, whom they defeated. Earl Johnson led the Hurricanes with 13 pts and 9 boards, and captain ,Winston Pratt finished the night with 12 pts, 5 assists and 4 rebs. In the win, Ty Bradley had 11 pts and 3 rebs, while Tariq Middleton and Brian White scored 8 pts apiece. In a losing effort, the Warriors’ top scorer was Daniel Nolberto, who had a game high 23 pts and 6 rebs, while Brandon Flowers finished the night with 14 pts. Edgar Mitchell and Macario Augustine had 9 and 8 points, respectively.

Battle of the west saw Western Ballaz as victors

Also on Friday night, the clash of two powerhouses, also involved in an intra-district rivalry, took center stage at the Sacred Heart College Auditorium in San Ignacio, as the undefeated Cayo Western Ballaz (7-0) played host to the Belmopan Red Taigaz (5-2). The stage was set from the introduction of the players, as the visiting Belmopan fans came in full force, matching the noise, intensity and fan fare of the home team. The game’s intensity peaked from tip-off, with the biggest lead in the entire game being 6 pts, as both teams demonstrated a high level of concentration, great defense and limited mistakes. With 19 seconds remaining in the game, and the Red Taigaz sporting a 60-59 lead, Richard Troyer missed a three-point attempt and the Taigaz’ Jarell Velasquez secured the rebound and was fouled. Velasquez bricked both free throws, and Troyer drove the length of the court to dish the ball to Giovanni Lennan, who sank the lay-up with 9 seconds remaining on the clock, giving the home team a 1 pt lead. Belmopan was unable to convert on the final possession, giving Cayo Western Ballaz the narrow 61-60 nail-biter victory. Cayo was led by Richard Troyer with a double-double of 17 pts and 11 rebs besides dishing out 5 assists, while Kurt “Chengo” Burgess also finished the night with a double-double of 11 pts and 14 boards. Giovanni Lennan and Akeem Watters scored 11 and 9 pts, respectively, while Keith Acosta chipped in with 8 pts. Belmopan Red Taigaz was led by last season’s MVP, Farron Louriano, who had a huge double-double with game highs in pts and rebs, as he tallied 19 pts and ripped 18 boards. Terrel Eskridge also had a huge night with 19 pts, 6 rebs and 4 assists, but no one else from the visiting team had more than 5 pts.

No Limit won by forfeit over Diplomats

On Saturday, Toledo Diplomats (0-7) informed the league that they were not in a position to host their home game versus Belize City No Limit (2-6), losing the game by forfeit, 20-0. A team is allowed to forfeit only 2 games, after which they are disqualified from the tournament.

Tiger Sharks defended home court against Running Rebels

On Saturday night, Orange Walk Running Rebels traveled to the island at the San Pedro High School to take on the San Pedro Tiger Sharks (5-1), who have never lost a home game in 2 seasons. With 5 minutes remaining in the game, the Running Rebels trailed by only 2 pts, but the home team was able to extend the lead and secure a 73-66 victory. Tiger Sharks was led by Darwin “Puppy” Leslie, who scored the game high 19 pts while pulling 5 rebs, while Andrew “Bynum” Ortiz finished the night with 17 pts and 6 boards. James Milton had another double-double of the season with 16 pts and 18 huge rebs, while Tyrone Edwards chipped in with 8 pts and 3 assists. The Running Rebels’ top man was Randy Usher, who scored 18 pts with 3 rebs, while Ian Carcamo had 12 pts with 6 rebs. Jason Grant finished the night with 9 pts and 8 rebs, while Roger Reneau tallied 9 pts and 6 boards.

Tiger Sharks and No Limit controversial game

After the commissioner ruled that this game will be re-played at the end of the season, both teams were afforded the opportunity to appeal this decision. Both teams informed the league that they appeal this decision to a three-member appeals committee, who will then decide the outcome of that game.

Upcoming games

On Friday night, undefeated Cayo Western Ballaz (7-0) take their unbeaten streak on the road to face Belize Yellow Pages Hurricanes (3-4) at the Belize Elementary Gym in Belize City, where the Hurricanes have not lost as yet. On Saturday night, it will be the clash of the titans, as San Pedro Tiger Sharks (5-1) carry their 5-game winning streak into the capital to take on Belmopan Red Taigaz (5-2) at the University of Belize gymnasium in Belmopan. These two top teams will be vying for sole possession of the #2 seed, and in their last meeting, the Tiger Sharks humiliated the Red Taigaz on their home court. Also on Saturday night, Orange Walk Running Rebels (2-5) travel down south to take on the winless Toledo Diplomats (0-7) at the Julian Cho High School in Toledo, while Belize City No Limit (2-4) host Dangriga Warriors (3-4) at Bird’s Isle in Belize City in a must win game for the home team.

NEBL 2015 – Basketball at its best! Below are the team standings after Round 1.

GP- Games Played, W – Won, L – Loss and Pts – Points

** Game undecided between S.P. Tiger Sharks and B.C. No Limit

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