Sports — 24 December 2015 — by Karim Juan - NEBL Commissioner

SAN IGNACIO TOWN, Tue. Dec. 22, 2015–The National Elite Basketball League (NEBL) hosted its opening marathon this past Saturday at the UB gymnasium in Belmopan. Five of the eight teams that will participate in the upcoming season attended the marathon.

In game 1, Cayo Western Ballaz defeated Independence Thunderbolts, 36-33. Elvert Ariola was the top scorer for Cayo Western Ballaz with 11 points, while Lloyd Coe sank 8 points in a losing effort.

In game 2, San Pedro Tiger Sharks came out victorious over Belmopan Bandits, 48-37. San Pedro Tiger Sharks was led by sharp shooters, Caleb Sutton and Ashton Edwards, who scored 16 and 11 points, respectively, with a lot of their points coming from behind the arc. Jevan McKenzie was the top scorer for Belmopan with 10 points.

With Dangriga obtaining the bye, they played game 3, where they defeated Independence Thunderbolts, 47-42. With the loss, Independence was eliminated from the competition.

In game 4, Cayo Western Ballaz handed Belmopan Bandits their second loss of the day, 62-35, also eliminating Belmopan. Cayo Western Ballaz was led by Anfernee Young, who had the game high with 31 points, while Ivan Flowers finished the game with 11 points. With the loss, Belmopan Bandits was led by Kevin Brown with 14 points.

Game 5 witnessed San Pedro Tiger Sharks defeating Dangriga Warriors, 59-32, eliminating Dangriga Warriors, and sending San Pedro Tiger Sharks to the finals. San Pedro was led by Ashton Edwards, who sank 17 points, while Raul Roches tallied 16 points. Nayib Cassimiro was the top scorer for Dangriga Warriors with 10 points.

The championship game was played between San Pedro Tiger Sharks and Cayo Western Ballaz, which was a rematch of the finals from the previous two NEBL seasons. With 53 seconds remaining, the game was tied, 50-50. However, the two-time defending champs was able to secure the 54-50 victory, to be crowned the champions for the opening marathon. Caleb Sutton was the top scorer for San Pedro Tiger Sharks with 18 points, while Ashton Edwards sank 16 points in the win. In a losing effort, Brandon Flowers and A.C. Augustine, Jr. scored 14 points each for Cayo Western Ballaz.

The third annual NEBL season will tip off on Saturday, January 16.

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