SAN IGNACIO TOWN, Cayo District, Sun. May 5, 2019– The National Elite Basketball League (NEBL) bounced into week two of its playoffs this past weekend with the second games in best-of-three semi-final series. In the semi-finals, the home teams have a combined record of 0–4, where the road squads have won all 4 games. The 2 winners this weekend will advance to a best-of-five series for the championship.
Déjà vu, as Louriano hits game winner to send Verdes back home for game 3
On Friday night, the #1 seed going into the playoffs, Verdes was faced with a must-win game, as they travelled to Belize City to take on the defending champions, Mirage/Smart Belize Hurricanes at the Belize Civic Center…
At the end of the first quarter, the game was knotted at 15 points, with the loss of back-up point guard from Verdes, Lisaney Lambey, who had to be carried off the court with an arm injury. In the second quarter, Glency “Coope” Lopez suffered an ankle injury and was forced to leave the game for an extended period of time. At intermission, the home squad, Mirage/Smart Belize Hurricanes had a razor thin lead, 36–35, where the first 20 minutes of play was defined by physicality and toughness. At the end of the third quarter, Verdes jumped out to a 63–56 lead, which was later extended to 10 points. However, Hurricanes’ defensive intensity forced Verdes to cough up some crucial turnovers, giving Hurricanes a 1-point lead down the stretch. With 9.3 seconds remaining on the clock, Verdes’ Leroy Louriano sank the game winning shot from behind the three-point arc, to give the visitors the 76-74 win.
Richard Troyer was the top scorer for the game with 22 pts 6 rebs and 3 steals, while this year’s regular season MVP, Kris Frazier tallied 19 pts and 9 rebs. Elsworth Itza finished the game with 12 boards and 9 pts, while Elvis Usher, Jr.’s stat line was 9 pts 5 assts and 2 rebs. Devin Daly was the top scorer for Belize Hurricanes with 20 pts 6 rebs 4 assts and 4 steals, while Tyrie Orosco had another huge game off the bench with 16 pts and 8 rebs. Eyan Rene finished with 13 pts 5 rebs 5 dimes and 3 steals for the Mirage/Smart Belize Hurricanes.
The decisive game 3 now moves out west this coming weekend, as the winner will advance to the NEBL finals.
Dream Ballers grabs win over Tiger Sharks to force a game 3 in Griga
by Glenn Tillett
With the main pistons of their offensive engine, sparkplug guard Jamal Kelly and super forward Daniel Conorque both with 4 fouls, and a resurgent San Pedro Tiger Sharks with an eight-point lead, things looked dicey for the Griga Dream Ballers at the Civic by the Riva on Saturday night. Time was running out on their season, their tournament, their playoff hopes, and championship dreams.
But unlikely heroes emerged. Captain Edgar Mitchell grabbed the steering wheel to score 16 hard driving points, dish 7 assists and grab 7 boards, whilst Delvon “Hendo” Henderson hit 3 threes from deep just when they needed it most, to finish with a team-high 20 points.
San Pedro’s big man, Martevuius Adams had a game-high 23 points, 9 boards, and along with Jihad Wright’s 22 points, they were their team’s balky, creaky, sputtering offense. They also played too long minutes trying to stay with Griga’s speed, and did not have the legs just when they needed it most.
After Griga had clung to narrow leads nearly the entire game, it fell behind by a point, 43-42, at the start of the fourth quarter.
Adams soon had the Tiger Sharks up by 8 in less than a minute, the largest lead of any team so far in the game, and threatening to run away and move on in the playoffs.
But remarkably, by halfway through the quarter, the combination of Edgar Mitchell driving and dishing, and Delvon Henderson raining threes mostly from deep deep, Griga was up by 10.
When an obviously exhausted Adams picked up 3 quick fouls, his second, third and fourth, and Darren Bovell sent him to the bench with them trailing by 8, Griga only had to protect its lead over the final 2 minutes, to come away with the 70-63 win…
The third edition of this trifecta, presumably in Griga, will be another barn burner, where the winner will advance to the NEBL finals.
All scores, standings, player statistics and team statistics can be found on our webpage at neblbelize.com
Upcoming game 3 schedule:
Friday, May 10 at 9:00 p.m.: Verdes (#1) vs Mirage/Smart Belize Hurricanes (#4) at the Sacred Heart College Auditorium in San Ignacio Town (tentative date)
Saturday, May 11 at 8:30 p.m.: Griga Dream Ballers (#2) vs San Pedro Tiger Sharks (#3) at the Russell Chiste Garcia Auditorium in Dangriga Town