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Feb 3, 2014

The National Elite Basketball Tournament: Meet Belize City’s No Limit

Basketball will be back this coming Friday and we will be carrying it live on this station. The series is dubbed the National Elite Basketball Tournament and will feature eight teams from across the jewel including San Pedro and Belmopan. As for the players, some seasoned and well-known, others are new, but the Belize Basketball Federation is guaranteeing a high level of play by allowing each team to have at least one international player in its roster. The first showdown is between San Pedro’s Tiger Sharks and Belize City’s Smart No Limits Team. News Five caught up with No Limits at practice at the Bird’s Isle.

FOR VIDEO CLICK HERE.

Duane Moody, Reporting

This Friday at the Bird’s Isle basketball court, two teams – Belize City and San Pedro— will face each other in the national elite basketball tournament, which will see the best teams from each district including Belmopan and La Isla Bonita, battling for the title. Polishing up their individual skills were the players from Smart’s No Limit Belize City team.

 

Emory Bennett

Emory Bennett, Coach, No Limits

“We have started working out about three weeks now and that’s not enough time, but we have done a little bit of extra work. So I’m trying to get the guys ready for the game—physically, mentally—trying to get some kinda chemistry together. This is a pretty new team—we have about five seven players from the old team. They have a good chemistry and we are trying to get all the new players to fit in and to get use to the system.”

 

Duane Moody

“How are you ensuring that they have the basics that will add to their skill because a lot of them have the raw talent, but don’t have the basic training that is needed to push that talent to the point that they are winners?”

 

Emory Bennett

“That’s a good question; a very good observation. You guys were here about an hour and a half now and you would see that we’ve done a lot of basic drills. I tell my guys it doesn’t matter how long you’ve been playing, you gotta learn the basics. You gotta go through and make sure whatever skills they have, yes we will incorporate it, but the basics are important. We do basic drills every night: rebounding, dribbling, passing the basketball; the things that gets you off the ground. And then after that, you take the natural talent along with the basic skills and you get your chemistry.”

 

Foundation….that is what the team is focusing on. And while each team is allowed to have an international player on the roster, Coach Bennett is taking the old and the new to create a powerhouse team with six under twenty-six players and nine seniors. Elite player, Kevin Domingo says he is bringing his years of experience to assist his teammates.

 

Kevin Domingo

Kevin Domingo, Team Member, No Limits

“Neva give up, yo know; got a lotta heart till it done….till all seconds run out dah then. Yo can’t just see a blowout and say ahh mien and lay back and just make it finish like that. You have to fight till the end because nothing done till it done. And we will have that mentality to never give up.”

 

Like Domingo, the Captain of the Team, Gregory “Chippy” Rudon, was once a member of the San Pedro Tiger Sharks. The team, back in 2007, won the series and since then there has been a rivalry between the two teams representing Belize District. So apart from his MVP skills, how does Rudon intend to capture the title?

 

Gregory “Chippy” Rudon

Gregory “Chippy” Rudon, Captain, No Limits

“We’ve been ready for the past two years. We’ve been playing against that team in interoffice basketball and we lost two times in the finals and it is like a rivalry, a big rivalry and so we are going to do it big. We are bringing it big. I’m representing the City now and I look forward to it. Everything starts in workout and workout every night I try to bring to them—especially the under twenty-six players, I try to teach them although they know a lot because they’ve been playing on the national team for the under-sixteen and under-seventeen. So I think the team is well strong; you have bigs and smalls.”

 

But amongst the members of the team is a newcomer to the elite league, Brian White. Eighteen year old White is no stranger to the sport and has represented the country in several international tournaments including the 2013 FIBA Americas U-eighteen Championships last August.

 

Brian White, Team Member, No Limits

Brian White

“I just wanna play hard so we can win the big grand cause I really need some money right now. So I’m gonna do my best to help the team to win; I’m gonna play my heart out as I always do when I go represent Belize. so that’s my plan for this elite tournament. What I learn out there is that those guys are very big so you gotta come hard and use all your strength to overpower them. So what I’m gonna do is just try my best, the experience I learn out there playing hard against those guys, I can do it here too, so I’m gonna do my best to help my team win. My head is always in the game. Te only time I get frustrated is when I work very hard and I don’t get the ball from my teammates. That really throws me off because I am really doing my part so I deserve the ball. So that is the only way my head could get outta the game, but other than that I’m always in the game no matter what is the situation, I’m always in the game.”

 

Thrusting its full support behind the team is SMART Belize Limited.

 

Anthony Mahler

Anthony Mahler, Chief Marketing Officer, SMART Belize

“We have a social conscience and the people of Belize have been good to SMART. We’ve grown exponentially over the past nine years since we’ve been doing business and we see some great opportunities for us ahead. There needs to be an opportunity for players to grow and the only way we can do that is if good players play against good players. And if they put in the time and they are supported by corporate organizations like SMART, then you can see the level of basketball raised once against in Belize.”

 

Emory Bennett

“Mien this is going to be a rough season. I mean, I hope the fans come out because this is the start of something really special here. As far as I’m concerned, yes we are home and if we are going to have all our fans behind us; and I hope that whole of Belize City comes out because we are representing Belize City. But as far as advantage mien, we gotta come out and play the game. A game is not won on paper; a paper is not won by who you have in your lineup. You gotta come out here and play all forty minutes so it is gonna be a war. We are ready for that mien.”

 

Duane Moody for News Five.

 

So don’t forget to stay tuned for basketball action this Friday.

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