BELIZE CITY, Mon. Jan. 14, 2019– The National Elite Basketball League (NEBL) will be tipping off its sixth season this Friday with a huge game slated at the Belize Civic Center. Defending champions, Belize Hurricanes will be hosting their southern rivals, Griga Dream Ballers, with a lot of bad blood that needs to be settled on the court. Last year’s semifinals matchup between these two teams went to a decisive game 3, forcing a monstrous season opener.
Mirage Smart Belize Hurricanes will be showcasing their two big men, Belizean American Tyrie Orosco and American big man Jordan Daniels, as they join forces with Devin Daly, Brian White, Akeem Watters and Glency “Coope” Lopez in a quest to get back to the big dance this season.
Griga Dream Ballers will be entering the Civic with a bad taste in their mouths, having lost both of their semifinal games at the Civic last season, as they seek to redeem themselves from the ghost of their past. American big man Delvon Henderson and guard sensation and new comer, Jamal Kelly will be making their debut with the Griga team, while Quinton Bowen, Edgar Mitchell, Daniel Conorquie, Trevaughn Usher and Macario Augustine will have one thing on their minds – revenge. This year, Griga will be without the services of Daniel “Buddy” Nolberto and Brandon Flowers, so we will have to wait and see who will fill those huge offensive gaps this season. The season opener surely serves up a great league rivalry as the appetizer, as basketball fans are savoring with anticipation for tip-off at 9:00 p.m.
Verdes hosts Defenders out West
On Saturday, January 19, the NEBL will dish out the main course, as Belize City Defenders will travel out west to take on Verdes at the Sacred Heart College Auditorium in San Ignacio Town.
Belize City Defenders enter the season with a “championship or bust” mentality, after being bridesmaid at the big dance last season, falling to their city rivals. Defenders had a huge roster shake-up, keeping only 5 of its 15 players from last season, as they rebuild to return to the finals again. Key additions to their team include Farron Louriano, Gregory “Chippy” Rudon and Elvis Olivera. These guys will go to battle alongside defending regular season MVP, American Nigel Jones and 2 time Finals MVP, Darwin “Puppy” Leslie…
Out west, the Verdes squad is also in rebuild mode, bringing back only 4 players from last year, which are Richard Troyer, Elvis Usher, Justin Ford and Elsworth Itza. They are beefing up their squad with Belizean American Tyrone Hall and American big man, Kris Frazier, while adding sharp shooter, Kyron “Tut” Molina to work beside guards Lisani Lambey and Raheem Crawford and big man, Andrew “Bynum” Ortiz…
Tiger Sharks head north to take on Running Rebels.
To cap off the weekend, the desert surely promises to be a dandy, as powerhouse San Pedro Tiger Sharks will travel up north to take on the rejuvenated Orange Walk Running Rebels at the Orange Walk Sporting Complex. The Tiger Sharks are surely hungry for blood after failing to make the playoffs last season for the first time in their franchise history… They added veteran Kurt “Chengo” Burgess, Francis Arana, Gene Myvett and Brandon Rogers to team up with Douglas Valley, Ashton Edwards, Martaveous Adams and Jihad Wright.
Orange Walk Running Rebels will see the return of their local star, Roger Reneau, while adding 2 Americans, Devin Wyatt and Ja’Keem Yates and a Belizean American, Marquies Williams, as their goal is to make the playoffs for the first time in their franchise history…
Games on Thursday and Saturday nights tip off at 8:30 p.m., while all Friday games tip off at 9:00 p.m. Player statistics, team standings, schedule, news and all things NEBL can be found on our website at neblbelize.com and on our Facebook page at NEBL.