SAN IGNACIO, Cayo District, Sun. Jan. 26, 2020– The National Elite Basketball League (NEBL) had a full slate of games this past weekend, as all 8 teams were in action. Every weekend, all teams will be playing a game, with 4 games on the schedule. All scores, standings, schedule and player stats can be found on our website at neblbelize.com. All games can also be followed live online on our webpage by clicking on the game at the top of the website. When fans click on the game, the live stats for that game will be accessible.
Verdes holds on to narrow win versus Orange Walk Running Rebels
On Friday night in the Verdes season opener at Sacred Heart College auditorium, the home squad was able to secure their first win of the season, defeating Orange Walk Running Rebels, 82–74. The Running Rebels jumped out to an early 20–15 lead at the end of the first quarter, but by half time Verdes had a 9-point lead, 41–32. Verdes was able to hold this lead, despite many offensive runs by the Running Rebels, to secure the victory in front of a packed auditorium. Verdes was led by last year’s MVP, Kris Frazier, who had the game high with 23 pts to go with 8 rebounds and 4 assists, while captain Richard Troyer knotted a double-double with 17 pts and 11 rebs to go with 3 steals. American import Devin Thomas tallied 13 pts and 8 rebs in his first NEBL game, while Tyrone Hall finished with 12 pts, 4 rebs and 4 assists. In a losing effort, Roger Reneau netted 19 pts to go with 7 rebs, while Tyrie Orosco scored 15 pts and grabbed 5 rebs in only 13 minutes, before being disqualified in the second quarter after obtaining two unsportsmanlike fouls. Matthew Young finished with a double-double of 11 pts and 10 boards, while American import Dajuan Cooper also recorded a double-double in his debut with 10 pts and 11 rebs, and Sydney Bradley chipped in 10 pts. Verdes shot 51% from the field, compared to Orange Walk’s 28%. Verdes missed 23 free throws, while turning over the ball 31 times, and they were outrebounded 57–51 in the game.
D’Von Campbell led Punta Gorda Panthers to their first franchise victory with 15 dimes
On Saturday night, Punta Gorda Panthers had their season debut at home in their state-of-the-art venue that welcomed in many PG fans that had the place rocking. Panthers had a 49–44 lead at intermission, and they were able to hold on to the lead, despite many offensive surges from Belmopan Bandits, to win their first game, 95–88, after a 4-year hiatus from the league. Flaunting a wooden court, a packed arena and brand new jerseys, the new franchise surely was on display, as they backed up their image with a huge win. Belizean American D’von Campbell had a league record with 15 assists to go with 12 pts, while Jevonte Hughes tallied a double-double with 24 pts and 10 rebs. Julies Travien also finished with a double-double with 17 pts and 10 rebs, while sharp-shooter Elbert Ariola had his break-out game with 17 pts and 5 rebs, hitting 5 shots from behind the arc; and Elsworth Itza finished with the game high 16 rebs to go with 13 pts. Belmopan Bandits was led by Jevaughn McKenzie, who scored 23 pts off the bench, while American import Khalil Jabbie finished with 18 pts and 4 assists, and Brandon Flowers tallied a double-double with 14 and 10. Richard Smith III also had a double-double with 13 pts and 12 boards, while Brandon Rogers netted 10 pts.
Belize City Defenders blew out Dream Ballers in Griga
Also on Saturday night, Griga Dream Ballers boasted their improved venue with air conditioned comforts, but fell miserably to Belize City Defenders, who destroyed Griga, 84–55. Defenders recorded their first win of the season behind Nigel Jones, who had a double-double with 27 pts and 14 rebs, while big man Luther Page tallied 23 pts and 3 rebs, and Devin Daly finished the night with 12 pts and 9 rebs. In a losing effort, American import Branden Sheppard was the top scorer for the home squad with 16 pts and 11 rebs, while Delvon Henderson sank 11 pts to go with 9 caroms, and Daniel Conorque and Quinton Bowen chipped in 10 pts apiece.
Friday, January 31
8:45 p.m. – Belize City Defenders vs Verdes at Belize Civic Center
9:00 p.m. – Orange Walk Running Rebels vs Belize Hurricanes at Orange Walk Sporting Complex
9:15 p.m. – Belmopan Bandits vs Griga Dream Ballers at Hilltop Court
Saturday, February 1
9:00 p.m. – Punta Gorda Panthers vs San Pedro Tiger Sharks at Toledo Sporting Complex
(Amandala Sports Ed. Note: On Friday night at the Civic Center in Belize City, Belize Hurricanes debuted with an 85-77 win over visiting defending champions, San Pedro Tiger Sharks. Tiger Sharks guard Francis Arana led all scorers with 27 pts, but the Hurricanes led the game from start to finish, behind double-figure scoring from Jamaal Samuel 19 pts, Alex Carcamo and Jamell Harris with 17 pts each, and Ashton Edwards (formerly of Tiger Sharks) with 12 pts. For the Tiger Sharks, only Francis Arana 27 pts, Jihad Wright 15 pts, and Emory Bennett, Jr. 11 pts were in double figures. The Tiger Sharks have been dominant on their small court at the island; but adjustments have to be made for a different game at the Civic. The Hurricanes were packing some powerful winds in their first outing. This is promising to be a stormy NEBL season; teams that fail to “batten down” may be blown away.)