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Apr 30, 2001

Raiders take basketball opener

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Good evening, I’m James Adderley and welcome aboard this charter of Sports Monday. Playoff fever has gripped the football community as six teams battle for the championship in the BFL. Week III found Kulture Yabra hosting the defending champions Sagitun at the MCC grounds yesterday.

Six minutes in Derys Benavides fires with bad intention at Charlie Slusher, but the Yabra keeper makes the save look easy.

The Yabra team stays in a defensive posture and so Sagitun seeks to strike first, but Slusher sails and saves.

The first potent offensive threat from Yabra comes some half an hour in, and yes Rogel Jones should have had the cards vibrating on this opportunity–and yes people, at the half we have an uneventful nil-nil score.

At the restart, these fans voice their anticipation quite distinctively, and Tilliman Nunez tries to deliver with this drop, but it’s too close to the keeper.

At the other end Robert Muschamp fires this long-range missile that has Charlie Slusher diving, but no harm done. This spotkick from El Gigante finds the head of Hugo Ortega, but it’s right at Darren Hinds. Another spotkick from El Gigante finds the danger zone, only this time the header from Norman Nunez just raises over the crossbar.

The Sagitun response comes from Derys Benavides whose right foot launch provides some difficult moments for Slusher–which passes.

Spotkick seems to provide the city team with most of its offence today and this one finds Mark Leslie, but Hinds comes up with a spectacular save.

In traffic El Gigante fires looking for the lead, but the ball inches outside the sticks. It’s getting late in the ballgame, so Wilmer Garcia looks to give his team the lead, but get beaten by the keeper and at the end of regulation we have a scoreless tie.

In early overtime Norman Nunez goes to the spotkick for the sudden death, but the offering rises over the crossbar. The end comes like a thief in the night when Nunez finds Mark Leslie and he beats Darren Hinds to give Yabra the 1-zip big W.

In other results from the BFL playoffs, Builders Hardware Bandits bombed Leslie Verdes 3-zip Saturday night at Belmopan. And at Orange Walk yesterday, Metro Star up-ended Juventus 3-1 in regulation play.

Changing gears folks, we take you out to the City Centre where the much talked about semi-pro basketball season was opened Friday night, and here is B.B.A. commissioner Troy Gabb with his opening remarks.

At the tip off two old rivals meet as Kirk Smith jumps for the Raiders while Claude “Too Tall” Jones represents Orange Walk Music Centre.

It’s off to the quick start for the Raiders as Kirk “Shabba” Smith hits with the baseline jumper. It’s a ten-point lead for the Raiders when Bart Sanchez cuts through the teeth of the O.W. defense for this bucket.

The Music Centre team finally gets something going when Mark Bainton lands this three pointer. Bainton then finds “Too Tall” Jones who goes glass for two.

Fabian Pittman of the U.S., working for the Raiders finds Floyd Leslie and he raises for three. Kenroy Smith then deals to Cassian “The Russian” Flowers–who gets the easy two. At the half it’s a 19 point Raider lead.

After intermission the visiting O.W. team makes a run–Claude “Too Tall” works against Kirk Smith and finds progress.

Mark Bainton then takes on Pittman and he knocks down a difficult deuce. Bainton finds Roger Favela who launches this three that falls, cutting the deficit to eleven.

But it’s this three by Roger Favela that gives O.W. its first tie of the ballgame in the closing moments of regulation play. The 58-58 tie at the long whistle forces overtime.

Floyd Leslie beats “Too Tall” Jones to glass for two huge points in overtime. And it’s a done deal when Leslie looks up with this long pass downcourt as the Raiders go on to post the 76-67 big W.

Meanwhile in amateur play at Big Bird’s Isle Friday night, University of Belize mashed Mirab 73-64. Brodies Travellers stopped M&M Christian Ambassadors 71-55, while on Sunday Belize Bank Wildcats beat Rampage 50-44 in Under-20 play. In the female nightcap, Maria Chang Eagles halted the Griga Express 42-22.

DUE TO A PUBLIC AND BANK HOLIDAY ON TUESDAY MAY FIRST, THE NEXT NEWSCAST WILL BE ON WEDNESDAY MAY SECOND.

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