SAN IGNACIO, Cayo District, Mon. Mar. 4, 2019– The National Elite Basketball League (NEBL) hosted three games over the past weekend, and teams are already viewing every game as a must-win game, given the level of competition among teams and the fact that only 4 playoff spots are available.
Verdes claims another big road win at the Civic
On Thursday night, Verdes completed their 2-game sweep of the 2 Belize City teams in the Civic Center, as they defeated Belize City Defenders, 76–71. Verdes was led by Itza, Frazier, Bynum and Troyer, as they boast 3 players in the top-10 rebounding category. They have out-rebounded their opponents in 3 of the 4 games they have played, and demonstrated a consistent and efficient offense. Verdes and Griga Dream Ballers are the only 2 teams with only 1 loss in the season. Belize City Defenders was coming off a huge win, but were unable to defend home court once again, with 2 of their 3 losses coming at home.
Orange Walk Running Rebels grabs first win of season in memory of DC10
Orange Walk Running Rebels was able to secure their first victory of the season on Friday night at the Orange Walk Multi-Purpose Complex with a dominant win over Belmopan Bandits. Replaced imports, Julien and Thomas brought experience at both the 1 and 5 positions, creating greater offensive stability for the team. Roger Reneau had a great game on Friday night, as the game was dedicated to their fallen teammate, Dwayne Cummings. Belmopan Bandits opened their season with a great win versus Belize City Defenders, after which they are on a 3-game losing streak. Their offensive struggles were exposed on Friday night in Orange Walk, and they must make some quick adjustments to dig themselves out of the cellar. Orange Walk Running Rebels will travel to Belmopan on Wednesday for a quick rematch, after which Belmopan will travel to the Civic Center on Friday night to take on Belize Hurricanes. Orange Walk will be seeking their first back-to-back win in franchise history on Wednesday night.
Griga holds on to #1 seed, while San Pedro drops 3 straight
Griga Dream Ballers remains atop the NEBL standings with another big road win on Saturday night versus San Pedro Tiger Sharks. After losing in the season opener to Hurricanes, Griga Dream Ballers has reeled off a 5-game winning streak, and is the hottest team in the league right now. Balanced scoring, great rebounding and solid players at key positions has kept them at the top of the standings, despite a few injured players. To keep their streak alive, they must defend home court against Belize City Defenders, who need a win on Saturday night to remain in the top 4 teams in the standings. Griga’s season is riding the great play of Kelly, Mitchell, Henderson and Conorque, who are all playing exceptional ball. For the first time in their 6-year franchise history, San Pedro Tiger Sharks have lost 3 games straight. However, the Tiger Sharks have been in all close games that are decided in the last few minutes, and their winning DNA will allow them to figure it out before the season ends. They will get a week off to recuperate and prepare for Verdes, who will be travelling to the island next weekend. San Pedro has been without the services of Gene and Jihad for a few games, and their absence has surely been felt.
Below are the standings where teams are ranked, based on number of points. The variation in standings is due to the fact that all teams have not played the same number of games. (2 pts for a win – W; 1 pt for a loss – L)
All scores, standings, player statistics and team statistics can be found on our webpage at neblbelize.com
Wednesday: Belmopan Bandits vs Orange Walk Running Rebels at UB gym at 8:30 p.m.
Friday: Mirage/Smart Belize Hurricanes vs Belmopan Bandits at Belize Civic Center at 9:00 p.m.
Friday: Verdes vs Orange Walk Running Rebels at Sacred Heart College Auditorium at 9:00 p.m.
Saturday: Griga Dream Ballers vs Belize City Defenders at Russel Chiste Garcia Auditorium at 9:00 p.m.