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Feb 9, 2015

Season 2 of the NEBL with James Adderley

Good evening, I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday.


The national anthem rendered by the Moreno Sisters – Solie and Julie – heralded the arrival of the 2nd National Elite Basketball League Tournament Friday night inside San Ignacio and as usual, the Sacred Heart College Auditorium was packed to capacity. Nevertheless, the introduction of the home team, last year’s sub-champion, Western Ballaz, was propelled to the next level pulling out all the stops with lights, sounds and smoke in a presentation that will be difficult to surpass.

Tonight, the Ballaz play host to the newest addition to the NEBL, Belize Hurricanes, under head coach, Matthew Smiling—a new team venturing into a tournament with ferocious competition. Keith Acosta making his 1st appearance in a Ballaz uniform got his team going early taking Lean Williams to the hoop and goes glass for 2 of his 10 game points. At the other end, Lindburgh Graham sinks this triple as the Hurricanes climb to a 2pt lead. However, when big man Kurt Burgess feeds Richard Troyer inside the paint, he beats Winston Pratt , finishes the lay up in fouled and would make it a 3 point play to give the Ballaz a 17-12 lead. At the end of the 1st quarter, the Ballaz lead 19-14. Roger Troyer plays the give and go with Ivan Flowersto get the 2nd quarter going and sinks the reverse. Troyer would lead all players tonight with 20 pts.

Off this miss shot by Graham, Jermaine Small grabs the loose ball and Small would score 3 of the 11 Hurricane points in the 2nd. Eleven is the number of points Jermaine Small totaled for the Hurricanes. In the meantime, the Ballaz offense was relentless and unforgiving. Ivan Flowers wants 3, Ivan Flowers gets 3 and would finish with an impressive 17 points. At the half, the host team shows a 43 to 25 lead. We caught up with the new NEBL Commissioner, Karim Juan, at intermission. But back to the Ballaz, in the third, Winston Pratt tried to get his offense going after the uninspiring 1st half as he hangs for 2 off the glass. The Ballaz would go on to pick up the win in an 85-52 outing against a Hurricane team that had a rough entrance into the big leagues. However, don’t count them out yet. They have the personal and the management to make the necessary adjustments.


Matthew Smiling

Matthew Smiling, Head Coach, Belize Hurricanes

“Well to be tested by the best team in the league, I don’t know what else we could ask for. At least we know where we stand as a team. The team is only practicing for the past two weeks because the franchise owners didn’t get a go ahead until we started camp. We started the twelfth of January; we had two weeks of camp and then two week of practicing. Again it is no excuse, but we know we can get better. We get the tapes, look at the tapes and we make adjustments.”


Richard Troyer

Richard Troyer, Forward Cayo Western Ballaz

“From what I see in practice, we have a better team than last year. The ball moves freer. We got some better guys coming off the bench in my opinion—no offense to last year’s team. Last year, we succeeded on a lot of individual talent; this year, we are more of a cohesive team.”


In other action around the league, the other Belize City team, Smart No Limit ran into a buzz saw at Dangriga and were chewed up 78 to 54 by a tough Warriors team. Orange Walk Running Rebels ran past the Toledo Diplomats 80 to 65 and San Pedro Tiger Sharks, the defending champions, mauled the new and improved Belmopan Red Taigaz 100 to 65. Looking to the weekend, Friday night finds Cayo Western Ballaz travelling to the San Pedro Tiger Sharks. Toledo Diplomats will host Belmopan Red Taigaz; OW Running Rebels will visit the Dangriga Warriors and here in Belize City at the Belize Elemetary Gym, it’s the battle of the city as Belize City No Limits takes on Belize Hurricanes.

Now let’s catch up with week II of the PLB Closing season. So we head to the Isidoro Beaton Stadium and the Placencia Tex Mar Assassins. Folks, we’re only 12 minutes into the action when this take down by the Police inside the box leads to a penalty call. Louis Torres steps up and beats Keith Allen with a left touch to the far corner as Tex Mar takes the 1-zip lead. 3 minutes later, Police responds. Devon Makin picks out Harrison Kafu Roches and the header knots the score at 1 apiece. The police gets this chance to grab the lead when Marlon Meza mounts this individual effort that is foiled only by a wonderful save from the Placencia Keeper, Jesus Urbina. Folks, this is the beautiful game. Watch Clinton West with the perfect pass to Byron Usher whose finish is impeccable as Police United surge to the 2-1 lead four minutes after intermission.

Marlon Meza then gets this look at an empty Tex Mar goal but not enough for Jesus Urbina to recover and make a save that he didn’t know too much about. It’s Dellon Torres on the attack when he spots his brother Ashley Torres who beats Jermaine Jones and Keith Allen to the ball to make it a 2-2 ballgame. Folks, when Devon Makin finds Harrison Kafu Roches, he heads to Clifton West whose header returns to lead to the law at the 73rd minute. It’s Clifton West to put the game away for the Police when he approaches goalkeeper Urbina in a 1 on 1 situation and gets foiled by a finger touch on a chance he should have converted. Folks, you know how it’s never over till it’s over. Dellon Torres seeks and finds Norman Nunez and his right foot punch finds a spot even the best goalkeeper in the world couldn’t do anything about it. it happens at the 87th minute and the ballgame ends in a 3-3 tie. Like they say, make hay while the sun shines.

In other action around the league, Verdes FC used the Norman Broaster Stadium to embarrass FC Belize in a 3-zip rout. At Belmopan, the bandits crushed Wagiya FC by that same score, while inside the Carl Ramos, the B.D.F. marched over King Energy Freedom Fighters in a 3-1 blast. Looking to week III, we find all 4 matches scheduled for Sunday at 3:30 p.m.  At the Isidoro Beaton, B.D.F. will battle San Ignacio United; FC Belize will be inside the MCC Grounds against Wagiya; King Energy Freedom Fighters will hold fort inside the Toledo Union against the Placencia Tex Mar Assassins and at the Norman Broaster, Verdes FC takes the field against Police United.

In high school football news, the Central Division Female Champion emerged over the weekend as St. Catherine Academy, who got 2 goals from Gabriella Mendoza to blank Gwen Liz in a 2-nil affair and we say congratulations. On the male side, Gwen Liz continues its hunt for the 2015 title with goals from Devan Zuniga and Nain Wilson to defeat St. John’s College in a 2-I affair. SJC’s sole goal came from Demetri Fabro.

On the cycling scene, Ray Cattouse of C-Ray won the 11.5 mile Weekend Warriors Individual time trial held on the Boom circuit yesterday. Robert Mariano of Digicell 4G took 2nd place; Warren Coye of Santino’s 3rd; Stephen  Bisset finished 4th and Kent Bob Gabourel took 5th.

Turning to the domino scene, Belize City won the Belikin Stout Nationals on Saturday at Mike’s Club in Belmopan by stopping Stann Creek 50 to 35. Punta Gorda took 3rd place by getting past Orange Walk 50 to 42.

In closing folks, here’s the quick look as Belize Bulldogs beat Grace Kennedy 4-3 to take the Charles Solis Memorial Softball Championship. We say congratulations to Hortencia Richardson of the 2-time champions who walked away with MVP honors. Louisiana Governmetn School won the national female basketball championships beating St. Peters Claver RC School 37 to 5. Saliya Leiva who scored 29 pts was voted MVP and we say kudos. On the male side, Mount Carmel RC of Benque edged Holy Cross Methodist School of San Pedro 38 to 36 to take the male championships. Julio Castellanos was voted MVP.


Jah over all, I’m James Adderley.

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