SAN IGNACIO TOWN, Fri. Jan. 14, 2017 – – The National Elite Basketball League (NEBL) had its opening game on Friday, as San Pedro Tiger Sharks traveled out west to take on Cayo Western Ballaz at the Sacred Heart College Auditorium in San Ignacio Town. The two-time NEBL champs, San Pedro Tiger Sharks jumped out to an early 20-9 lead at the end of the first quarter, with the home team closing the gap to 7 points at the half, 36-29. The third quarter was the deciding quarter of the game, as San Pedro outscored Cayo Western Ballaz, 27 to 11, to take a 23-point lead going into the final quarter of the game. The home team was unable to mount a come-back, handily sealing the 83-55 victory. San Pedro Tiger Sharks was led by American import George Williams, who had the game high with 19 points, to go with 5 assists, 1 steal and 50% shooting from the field. Raul “Thumpy” Roches tallied 18 pts, 9 rebs and 2 assts; while Ashton Edwards netted 13 pts, including three shots from behind the arc, to go with 4 boards and 2 steals. Belizean American, Rassi Jenkins had the game high with 13 rebs, to go with 8 pts; while Kurt “Chengo” Burgess finished the night with 8 caroms, 5 dishes and 7 pts. Cayo Western Ballaz’ top scorer was Brandon Flowers with 15 pts and 9 rebs; while Darwin “Puppy” Leslie finished the night with 10 pts, 7 rebs, 2 assts and 2 stls. Daniel “Buddy” Nolberto tallied 9 pts and 3 rebs, while Brandon Rogers netted 7 pts and grabbed 4 boards.
San Pedro Tiger Sharks out-rebounded Cayo Western Ballaz, 53-42, while having a 20-7 scoring edge on second-chance points. San Pedro led for the entire game, with their biggest lead being 30 points. The home squad shot 16 for 23 at the charity stripe (70%), while San Pedro Tiger Sharks sank 64% of their free throws, hitting 9 of 14 shots.
Below is the schedule for the upcoming weekend. Tip-off for all games this season is 9:00 p.m., except for the Thursday night games that start at 8:30 p.m. in Belmopan.
Thursday, January 19
8:30 p.m. – Smart Belize Hurricanes at Belmopan Bandits at the UB gym Friday, January 20
9:00 p.m. – San Pedro Tiger Sharks at Orange Walk Runnings Rebels at the Orange Walk
Saturday, January 21
9:00 p.m. – Dangriga Dream Ballaz at Belize City No Limit at the Belize Elementary Gym