Sports — 22 May 2019 — by Karim Juan – NEBL Commissioner
Jihad and San Pedro Tiger Sharks grab game 1 in NEBL Finals

SAN IGNACIO TOWN, Cayo District, Sun. May 19, 2019– The National Elite Basketball League (NEBL) tipped off its best-of-five finals this past weekend in San Pedro Town. Two-time champions, San Pedro Tiger Sharks hosted two-time champions, Mirage/Smart Belize Hurricanes at the San Pedro High School auditorium out on the island, to see who would take the early lead in the series.

It was a tight contest through the first three quarters, which saw 13 lead changes and 10 ties in the game.

Midway through the first quarter, Mirage/Smart Belize Hurricanes led, 11–9; but by the end of the quarter, San Pedro Tiger Sharks had jumped to a 21–15 lead. Hurricanes was able to close this gap and take a 1-point lead going into intermission, 41–40, in a very hotly contested finals match-up. Hurricanes outscored San Pedro by 1 point in the third quarter, sporting a 58–56 lead going into the fourth and final quarter of a very close game. However, the game took a drastic turn in the fourth quarter, as the home squad placed their stamp on this game with a 31–12 run, outscoring Hurricanes in the final quarter to grab an 87–70 victory.

San Pedro Tiger Sharks was led by Jihad Wright, who had the game high with 31 pts, along with 9 rebs 7 assts and 6 stls, leading his team to a blowout victory down the stretch. Francis Arana tallied 18 pts 6 reb 4 assts and 3 stls, while Martevuius Adams finished with 13 pts 5 rebs.

Mirage/Smart Belize Hurricanes was led by Akeem Watters 15 pts 6 rebs, while Tyrie Orosco tallied 14 pts 6 rebs. The only other player in double-figure scoring was Devin Daly, who netted 11 pts to go with 5 rebs and 2 dimes.

The rebounding line was 47–46 in favor of the Hurricanes; while the bench points was 21–20, slightly to Hurricanes’ advantage. However, Hurricanes committed 25 turnovers, compared to Tiger Sharks’ 12; while points off turnovers was 30–9 in favor of the home team, Tiger Sharks.

All scores, standings, player statistics and team statistics can be found on our webpage at neblbelize.com

Upcoming Finals schedule:

Game 2 – Friday, May 24 at 9:00 p.m.:  Mirage/Smart Belize Hurricanes (#4) vs San Pedro Tiger Sharks (#3) at Belize Civic Center
Game 3 – Saturday, May 25 at 9:00 p.m.:  San Pedro Tiger Sharks (#3) vs Mirage/Smart Belize Hurricanes (#4) at San Pedro High School
Game 4 (if necessary) – Friday, May 31 at 9:00 p.m.:  Mirage/Smart Belize Hurricanes (#4) vs San Pedro Tiger Sharks (#3) at Belize Civic Center
Game 5 (if necessary) – Saturday, June 8 at 9:00 p.m.:  San Pedro Tiger Sharks (#3) vs Mirage/Smart           Belize Hurricanes (#4) at San Pedro High School

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Deshawn Swasey

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