Sports — 17 January 2014

Returning to Bird’s Isle

With the Civic Center demolished, the only venue in Belize City half-way suitable for holding top level basketball is Bird’s Isle, and, according to latest reports, a marathon is planned for next Saturday, January 25, to launch the new BBF Elite Basketball League, which will fealture teams from Orange Walk, San Ignacio, Belmopan, Dangriga, Toledo, Corozal, San Pedro and Belize City.

We expect to hear more about the long awaited return of “semipro” basketball in the days ahead. Team names we are hearing include, Orange Walk Runnnin Rebels, San Ignacio Western Ballers, Belmopan Bandits, Dangriga Culture Warriors and San Pedro Tiger Sharks. No names have been announced yet for the teams out of Toledo and Corozal, but we have been reliably informed, not to our delight, that the name being proposed for the Belize City franchise is “No Limit.” A rose by any other name would smell as sweet. Are you ready to jump on board, city fans?

The start date of the inaugural season of the Elite Basketball League is reported to be on Friday night, February 7, when the official opening ceremony will be held at Bird’s Isle. Competition games will be played at the home courts of all the different teams, according to a home-and-away schedule.

Before that date, the Marathon at Bird’s Isle tips off at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, January 25, and will feature all teams except those from Toledo and Dangriga. The Marathon, aside from providing fans a “preview” of the competition, will also provide an opportunity for training game officials on the use of the “Live Stats” program.

An interesting aspect of the tournament, is the rule that requires each team to have at least 6 players under 26 years on their playing roster.

We hope to have more information on team rosters in upcoming reports.

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