SAN IGNACIO TOWN, Mon. June 5, 2017–The Pepsi NEBL season closed with a huge bang in San Pedro on Saturday night, as two-time champions San Pedro Tiger Sharks hosted Belmopan Bandits in game 3 of the Finals. San Pedro High School was packed to capacity, with standing room only, as the intensity of the game surely depicted a championship game with everything on the line.
The first quarter got the jitters out of both teams, as Belmopan Bandits finished with an 18–17 lead. In the second quarter, the visiting team jumped out to an 18 point lead, going into intermission with a comfortable 44–30 lead. However, San Pedro Tiger Sharks went on a run of their own at the end of the third quarter and mid-way through the fourth quarter, and in the process grabbing a 5 point lead with 4 minutes remaining in the game. Belmopan Bandits, was able to regain their composure, coming up with some key shots down the stretch, while getting crucial defensive stops, to register the 75–67 victory, claiming the NEBL championship.
Belmopan Bandits was led by Devin Daly, who had the game high with 25 points to go with 6 rebounds, 2 steals and 1 assist; while Edgar Mitchell had a solid game with 12 points, 7 assists and 4 boards. Richard Smith III and Stephen “Muerte” Williams both sealed the win with 11 points and 7 rebounds each.
Jamal Kelly had a great game for San Pedro Tiger Sharks with 20 points, 6 rebounds and 2 dimes; while George Williams tallied 19 points and 4 rebounds. Raul “Thumpy” Roches finished the night with 11 points, 13 rebounds and 3 assists. The Most Valuable Player (MVP) for the finals was awarded to Devin Daly who averaged 25 points in the two wins.
The NEBL would like to congratulate the San Pedro Tiger Sharks for reaching the NEBL finals in all four years, while extending kudos to Belmopan Bandits on their first championship in franchise history. Special thanks to The National Channel (TNC) for being our corporate sponsor and airing the games live, and to Pepsi for partnering with the NEBL this season. Most importantly, our sincerest gratitude to all our fans countrywide, who have supported our league for the past four years. Lastly, special mention to all the players, coaches, managers, table officials, referees, Belize Association of Basketball Officials (BABO), police officers, media and others who were integral in the continued development of our league.