Top level basketball returns to the Jewel – National Elite Basketball League tournament Week 1 in the books
The long awaited return of semipro basketball took place on Friday night, Feburary 7, in the form of the National Elite Basketball League (NEBL) tournament opening night with Week 1 games being played at 3 different venues across the country – Bird’s Isle in Belize City, UB gymnasium in Belmopan and the Andres Campos Civic Center in Corozal. The game scheduled for Ecumenical High School court in Dangriga was postponed due to rain.
Tigersharks 83 -78 No Limit
Following official ceremonies at Bird’s Isle in Belize City, the San Pedro Tigersharks took on home standing Belize City (Smart) No Limit in an intense contest that saw No Limit out-rebounding Tigersharks, 56-34; but the Tigersharks still managed the upper hand in fast break points, 26-10, and totally embarrassed the home squad from the free throw line, where the Tigersharks scored 23 of 33 (70%) to No Limit’s dismal 19 of 48 (40%). No Limit sported a 1-point lead, 20-19, to end the first quarter; but thereafter the Tigersharks maintained the lead, 38-35, at the half; 59-52 to end the third quarter, and the final score, 83-78, to claim their first victory of the season.
High man for the Tigersharks was Winston “Air Jun” Pratt 27 pts 6 rebs 5 assts 3 stls, followed by Jamal Kelly 14 pts, Tyrone “Joker” Edwards 12 pts 7 assts, Ashton Edwards 12 pts, Darwin “Puppy” Leslie 5 pts 7 rebs 4 assts. No Limit was led by Andrew “Bynum” Ortiz 23 pts 12 rebs, Brandon Rogers 15 pts, Gregory “Chippy” Rudon 12 pts 4 rebs 6 assts, Kevin Domingo 8 pts 4 rebs, and Matthew Young 6 pts 8 rebs.
Western Ballers 78 -76 Corozal Heats
Up north at the Andres Campos Civic Center in Corozal Town, it was home squad Corozal Heats hosting the Cayo Western Ballers, and this was a close one indeed, with the visitors leading by 2 points at the end of every quarter including the final quarter to end the game, which they won, 78-76, over the Heats. The Heats had better numbers for points in the paint, 44-28, and field goal percentage, 53% – 36%; but they had problems protecting the ball, as Cayo Ballers capitalized much more on points from turnovers by a 32-9 margin.
Top scorers for Cayo Western Ballers were Richard Troyer 21 pts 9 rebs, Kurt “Chengo” Burgess 13 pts 8 rebs 7 assts 3 stls, Emerson King 9 pts 3 rebs, Jamie Carbajal 8 pts, Ivan Flowers 5 pts 3 rebs 6 assts 7 stls, Mark O’Brien 5 pts 4 rebs, and Elroy Willis 4 pts 5 rebs. For Corozal Heats, Geovannie Lennan had 19 pts 9 rebs, Jason Daly 10 pts 4 rebs 5 assts, Sheldon Williams 9 pts 3 rebs, Marcel Richards 9 pts, Kenroy Roca 8 pts 7 rebs, Alton Herrera 8 pts 3 rebs 3 assts 3 stls.
Bmp Pt. Bandits 79-69 OW Run. Rebels
Meanwhile, out west at the UB Gymnasium in Belmopan, the Belmopan Point Bandits pulled out a 79-69 victory over a game Orange Walk Running Rebels. The Bandits led 23-13 to end the first quarter, and 33-25 at the half; but the Rebels came storming back to draw the game in the 3rd and then take a 51-48 lead on a shot by Randy Usher, who finished with 30 pts.
Reports Joaquin Magana from Cayo:
“It appeared that the Rebels had gained momentum and were on the way to stealing the Bandits expected victory. But the last acquisition player for the Bandits, Kylie Pascasio, came in big to save the night for the Bandits. He was a ‘weapon of mass destruction’ in this last quarter, hitting four three-pointers and ending with double-double figures.”
Unfortunately, we don’t have the full box scores for this game.
‘Griga Warriors vs P.G. Diplomats postponed
The other two teams in the NEBL were idle over the weekend as their scheduled Week 1 game at the Ecumenical High School court was rained out.
NEBL Week 2 schedule:
Friday, February 14
9:00 p.m. – Corozal Heats vs Bze City (Smart) No Limit – Andres Campos Civic Center
9:00 p.m. – Dangriga Warriors vs Belmopan Point Bandits – Ecumenical High School
Saturday, February 15
8:00 p.m. – OW Running Rebels vs Cayo Western Ballaz – OW Multipurpose Sports Complex
8:00 p.m. – Toledo Diplomats vs San Pedro Tigersharks – P.G. Sports Complex