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May 31, 1999

James Adderley has weekend sports

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Good evening, I’m James Adderley and you’re right on time for another fresh serving of Sports Monday. For some time now football fans have been waiting for a glimpse of the National Football Team in action in an international match but you wouldn’t have known it from the trickle of fans that showed up for the advertised match-up with the National Football Selection of Nicaragua at the People’s Stadium yesterday.

Nevertheless we go to the kick-off as motioned by Referee Ariel Caballero of Corozal and we’re underway in this friendly international. The first shot at goal comes 6 minutes deep when Victor Western fires a right foot which basically lacks the power to get past Shane Moody in Belize’s goal. Belize mounts its first offensive press in response with an attempted header by Dale Pelayo and then Emory Nuñez launches a left foot shot which proves an embarrassment.

At the other end Western does everything right except find the hole as Nicaragua squanders the scoring opportunity. It’s 16 minutes deep when Martin Molina deals to number 9 Hamilton West and his left foot offering burns Moody for the 1-nil Nicaragua lead. As you can see the shot is faulty but it’s no problem. Meanwhile how Belize fails to convert at this point is anybody’s guess as Eden Rowley gives the ball away in a bid to set table too perfectly for Emory Nuñez. And at the half it is a 1-zip lead for the visitors.

In second half our team searches for the equalizer. Julio Ayala deals perfectly to Emory Nuñez but again, the shot takes to the skies. Still the Nicaraguans almost go up 2-zip when Tyron Leiva airs this ball in front of Moody’s goal for a vicious header that inches outside the target. This time downfield Shane Moody is forced to leave the goal to make the save and he does. This offensive press demonstrates perfectly the inability of the National Team to score goals. A header too light and a step too late. Nicaragua goes on to capture the 1-zip “W” at the People’s Stadium.

From the football field, the news is not all that bad. On Saturday the National under 23 selection beat their Nicaraguan counterparts at the Norman Broaster Stadium in a 2-nil score. This is the first international win for Belize in the ’98 – ’99 football season.

Turning to the basketball scene, let’s head to the City Center for Friday night’s clash between B.T.L. Nets and Cristal Pirates and it’s a good start for the 1-5 Pirates as James O’Brien finds Rick Willoughby who lights up the scoreboard. A few minutes later, Willoughby delivers by way of an aerobic shot and the Pirates look pumped up. Of course B.T.L. did not make the best record in the league by accident and A.C. Augustine has position on Charlie Dunk, sinks the shot and picks up the foul.

But the Pirates aren’t playing tonight so when Kenroy Smith – fresh off the disabled list with a broken jaw – finds Charlie Dunks, 2 more points get banked off the glass. The Pirates lead by 9. Then Rick Willoughby sure stays hot as he streaks in with a now you see it, now you don’t play that’s good for 2. Down court Darren Bovell splits the defense for the easy lay up. At the other end it’s Rick Willoughby with the finger-roll. He would finish with 15 points. At the half the Pirates are up by 7.

In second half play things tighten up considerably. Lamb finds Lloyd Leslie and the jumper is good. The Pirates get the needed response from Charlie “Dunk” Armstrong who goes all the way against Kevin Seroki and Cristal Pirates show a 14-point lead with 13 minutes to go. That’s when the B.T.L. trap showed up and that created a big problem for the Pirates. “Paco” Neal is intercepted by Lamb who deals to Darren Bovell for the easy 2; he would total 13 points. And now Eloy Lamb, who would finish with 10 points, gives B.T.L. a 2-point lead in moneytime.

At the next streak, A.C. Augustine strikes for 3 of his game high 22, giving B.T.L. a 5-point lead with 7 and a half minutes to go. But here comes the Pirates as Kenroy Smith makes good on a 2 and would lead his team in scoring with 16 points. Okay it’s 13.4 seconds to go, the ballgame has descended into brutal physicality when Vince Estrada is blown for a hard foul on Kevin Seroki. This is after both referees ignored a serious exchange between Eloy Lamb and Kenroy Smith. Nevertheless Estrada gets in Referee Clothier’s face. He is restrained. He is wrong but then comes back to harass the referee. What does the arbitrator of the ballgame do in response? He blows off the game and gives the 70-68 win to B.T.L.

It’s a disgrace to the sport when the people who know the rules damage the sport like this. Whatever else our cameras pick up, it does not show a referee or anybody in imminent danger and one player simply cannot be allowed to stop the game. An ejection would have worked. This is referee Clothier’s third stoppage of a ballgame at this level which can only mean he sees it as a viable option. Nuff said!

We now look forward to Friday night’s biggie between Raiders and Lakers. The winner moves on to face B.T.L. in the championship series. On Sunday’s schedule Kremandala routed Southern Bombers 102-61.

That’s our show for today. We invite you back same time, same place next week. Jah over all. I’m James Adderley.

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