Sports — 04 February 2017 — by Karim Juan – NEBL Commissioner
Week 3 in NEBL

Darwin “Puppy” Leslie and Cayo Western Ballaz narrowly edged Dangriga Dream Ballers down south

Friday, January 27, 2017

On Friday night, Dangriga Dream Ballers hosted their first home game for this season. The Ecumenical High School Auditorium was pulsating with the Garifuna drums and the Sweet Pain Band, while approximately 800 fans had the stadium packed to capacity. The home team jumped out to an early 33-19 lead, which they were able to extend to 16 pts in the second quarter with their great defense and fluid ball movement. Cayo Western Ballaz was plagued by turnovers in the first half, with limited chemistry and offensive rhythm, while the home squad was fueling on all cylinders on both ends of the court. Darwin “Puppy” Leslie of Cayo Western Ballaz led a short one-man surge to end the first half, to keep the lead manageable at 12 pts, 43-31. With the home team maintaining a comfortable double digit lead, and feeding off the loud stadium, Dangriga Dream Ballers were in control of the game. However, in the third quarter, the visiting team mounted an 11-0 run in the third quarter to grab a 59-58 lead, going into the fourth and final quarter of the game, outscoring the home squad 28-15 in the third quarter. With 3 minutes remaining, the game was tied at 67, but Cayo Western Ballaz went on a 15-3 run to seal the 82-70 victory over Dangriga Dream Ballers.

Cayo Western Ballaz was led by Darwin “Puppy” Leslie, who had the game high with 26 pts, to go along with 5 stls and 2 caroms, while Daniel “Buddy” Nolberto tallied 17 pts 4 rebs and 2 assts in the first game against his former team and home squad. Brandon Flowers finished with 13 pts and 3 rebs, while American import James netted 12 pts to go with 7 rebs, including 6 huge pts in the final 2 minutes of the game. Richard Troyer scored 10 pts, to go with 5 rebs and 2 dishes in his first game back with Cayo Western Ballaz, after sitting out last season.

Belizean American import, Dilmore Conorquie was the top scorer for Dangriga Dream Ballers with 20 pts 6 rebs and 3 assts. However, he was plagued by turnovers, giving the ball away 10 times in the game. American big man, Tahj Wells tallied a double-double with 14 pts and 10 rebs, to go with 2 assts and 2 stls, while Quinton Bowen also posted a double-double with 12 pts and the game high 15 rebs. Davis Guzman finished the night with 8 pts and 6 rebs.

Dangriga Dream Ballers led for 28 of the 40 minutes of the game, and they out-rebounded Cayo Western Ballaz, 53-30. They also had a 16-10 edge on second chance points and a 22-10 scoring advantage off the bench. Dangriga Dream Ballers shot 43% from the field, while Cayo Western Ballaz struggled, shooting only 40%.

Belmopan Bandits steals another game, to remain undefeated

Friday, January 27, 2017

Belmopan Bandits, still riding high from their game 1 buzzer-beater victory, traveled to the old capital to take on Belize City No Limit at the Belize Elementary School Gym. The visitors jumped out to an early 11-2 lead, which they extended to 22 pts going into intermission, 50-28. Belmopan Bandits were able to hold on to this lead for the entire game, as the home team, Belize City No Limit was never able to mount a formidable comeback to dent the lead, as Belmopan handily won, 92-65.
Gregory “Chippy” Rudon was the top scorer for his team with 18 pts, to go with 3 boards and 2 assts, as he went up against his former squad that he captained for the previous three seasons. Stephen “Muerte” Williams tallied 15 pts 4 assts 2 boards and 2 stls in the win, while Jamal Harris activated the Bandits offense in the first half with 15 pts. Edgar Mitchell sank 10 pts, while dishing out 6 dimes and pulling 4 rebs, with Richard Smith III and Kevin Brown sinking 10 and 9 pts, respectively.
Belize City No Limit was led by Marcus Lewis, who had the game high with 24 pts, to go with 6 rebs, while Kadeem Olivera and Bernard Felix netted 7 pts each.
Belmopan Bandits controlled the entire game, from tip-off, with their biggest lead being 30 points. They shot 50% from the field, to go with 73% shooting from behind the charity stripe. Belize City No Limit had the 29-24 rebounding edge and a 23-10 advantage on points off turnovers.

Defending champs, Smart Belize Hurricanes fall to 0-2 at the hands of the only undefeated team, San Pedro Tiger Sharks

Saturday, January 28, 2017

On Saturday night, San Pedro Tiger Sharks hosted the defending champions, Smart Belize Hurricanes, in a rematch of last year’s finals. The game was played at the San Pedro High School in San Pedro. The visiting squad had a solid first quarter, leading 22-19; but in the second quarter, San Pedro went on a 7-0 scoring run to take a 46-34 lead at the half. In the second half, the home squad was able to maintain their double-digit lead, winning 85-75.
For the Tiger Sharks, American import, George Williams had the game high with 27 pts, on 67% field goal shooting, to go with 2 rebs and 2 assts; while Ashton Edwards finished with 21 pts, including 4 shots beyond the three-point arc, and shooting 58% from the field. Raul Roches netted 16 pts, while grabbing 4 boards and dishing out 3 assts; while Kurt “Chengo” Burgess scored 9 pts, to go with the game high 14 rebs, and 5 dimes.

Smart Belize Hurricanes was led by Akeem Watters, who tallied 17 pts and 3 rebs, and Leroy Louriano, who scored 14 pts, grabbed 3 rebs and snatched 2 stls. Andrew “Bynum” Ortiz finished with 13 pts and 5 rebs, and Glency Lopez netted 10 pts.

San Pedro Tiger Sharks out-rebounded Smart Belize Hurricanes, 31-25, while having a 12-5 advantage on points off turnovers. Smart Hurricanes had the 22-10 edge on bench pts, and an 8-0 advantage on fast-break points. San Pedro Tiger Sharks shot 55% from the field, while Smart Belize Hurricanes made 48% of their attempts.
Upcoming Schedule

On Friday night, Cayo Western Ballaz will travel to the old capital to take on Belize Smart Hurricanes, as they host their first home game of the season at their new venue, St. Catherine’s Academy Gym. The game will tip off at 9:00 p.m. This is a crucial game for both teams, as a loss will spiral Cayo Western Ballaz to a losing record early in the season, and a Smart Belize Hurricanes loss would give the defending champs a 0-3 start in their quest to keep the ring.

On Saturday night, Belize City No Limit will travel up north to take on Orange Walk Running Rebels, as both teams will be fighting for their first win in the season, with the game commencing at 9:00 p.m. The only two undefeated teams, will then do battle out on the island, as Belmopan Bandits will square off against their Achilles heel, San Pedro Tiger Sharks. Belmopan Bandits will be brandishing their new acquisition, Farron Louriano, with his two-time MVP in his armor. This game will be played at San Pedro High School, and tip-off time is 9:30 p.m.

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