Photo: Dominic Woodson, Griga Dream Ballers
Belize Elite Basketball League 2023 Tournament Schedule and Results
Friday, March 11: Western Ballaz 64. Griga Dream Ballers 74 (Sacred Heart Auditorium); Benny’s Belize Hurricanes 105, Belmopan Red Taigaz 64 (Belize City Centre).
Saturday, March 12: San Pedro Tiger Sharks 87, Belize City Defenders 83 (San Pedro High School); Orange Walk Running Rebels 132, Punta Gorda Panthers 68 (OW Multi-Purpose Complex).
Friday, March 17: Orange Walk Running Rebels vs Western Ballaz (OW Multi-Purpose Complex); Benny’s Hurricanes vs Punta Gorda Panthers (Belize City Centre).
Saturday, March 18: Griga Dream Ballers vs Belize City Defenders (Russell Chiste Garcia Auditorium); Belmopan Red Tigaz vs San Pedro Tiger Sharks (UB Gym).
BEBL Week 8 competition preview
The 2023 Belize Elite Basketball League (BEBL) Tournament begins the second half of the season this weekend, which means that the schedule turns around and it will be nearly all rematches from this point on. It is also the last weekend of play before it takes a two week break for its All-Star celebration and the annual Easter weekend break.
The BEBL and teams will use the hiatus to address continued problems such as scheduling and refereeing in the case of the former, and injuries in the case of the latter.
Perhaps not coincidentally, the BEBL’s Disciplinary Committee (pro-tem) comprised of former league commissioner Daniel Fabro, current assistant commissioner and technical director Glen Gill, and Dwight Cadle, President of the Belize Association of Basketball Officials (BABO), had an inaugural meeting and had a telephone discussion with Matthew Smiling, the head coach of the Belize City Defenders, to address issues he has had with the officiating and incidents he has had in several games.
As of press time, the league had not made any release of any decision regarding the issues and incidents addressed.
Similarly, it is now accepted that the BEBL will re-schedule the Tiger Sharks vs Red Taigaz cancelled season opener, but has not made any announcement of that decision or when it was officially and publicly made. The teams will meet for the first time, however, on Saturday night at the UB Gym, the Tiger Sharks 6th road game, and their last before an extended 5-game homestand.
The BEBL’s published official standings has placed the Griga Dream Ballers in first place, and in response to inquiries the commissioner’s office has said that head-to-head results are the first tiebreaker. Although the Hurricanes and Griga are tied in the standings, the Dream Ballers thus become the first team other than one of the two Belize City teams to occupy the top spot.
The Dream Ballers, coincidentally, will face the Belize City Defenders at home this Saturday night in a bid to solidify their hold on first place, and perhaps gain a measure of revenge having lost their first game to the Defenders. The Griga team posted two videos of their latest acquisitions, big man Dominic Woodson and forward Daniel Conorque arduously working out, presumably daily, on the beach; while the Defenders do not know when their sparkplug point guard Mykeil “Boogie” Tzul will be able to return to the active line-up because his right ankle is still in a cast.
The Benny’s Belize Hurricanes, the tournament’s other co-leader will host the so far hapless league cellar-dwellers the Punta Gorda Panthers Friday night at the Belize City Centre in a matchup of the leading offense and the worse defense. The Panthers financial and logistical struggles continue to be an issue of urgent concern for the entire league, while the high-powered Hurricanes will be debuting their controversial pre-season acquisition Kirk Smith, Jr., who reputedly will be replacing Alex Carcamo in the line-up, who has returned to Las Vegas to complete commitments there.
On Saturday night the Orange Walk Running Rebels will also be seeking a measure of revenge and playoff positioning as they host the Western Ballaz. The Rebels have been on a tear, winning their last 4 games after losing their first 3; whilst the Western Ballaz have lost 3 of their last 4 since winning their first 2 games, one of which was a victory over the Rebels.