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May 22, 2019

NEBL Finals: We Catch Up with Belize Hurricanes

The 2019 season of the National Elite Basketball League is in its finals and as fans predicted, the Belize Hurricanes is in the running for the trophy and the championship title once again. Now, it is an interesting finals series because both the Hurricanes and the San Pedro Tigersharks have won the title twice. This past Saturday, the island team won the first game in the best of five series, but the city team says it must defend its title and win for a third time. News Five’s Duane Moody caught up with the team as they prepared.

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

It has been a long fought battle to get to this point, but once again, the Belize Hurricanes have made it to the finals and have a fifty percent chance of becoming repeat champions. But it will be no easy task because, its opponent, the San Pedro Tigersharks have also won the championship title twice. Going into the season, the team’s P.R. Ian Mariano predicted that the team would have made it to the finals. Now, he says the team will win.

 

Ian Mariano Sr.

Ian Mariano Sr., PR & Marketing Manager, Mirage Smart Belize Hurricanes

“Truth be told, there is no pressure at the moment. We are where we want to be and I will say it again, we are where we want to be. We recognise that we have a championship pedigree. And nobody said it was going to be easy. The Tigersharks is a respectable opponent; they have won two NEBL championships and we have won two also. So we did not expect a walk in the park; we did not expect to just come and knock it over and it will be good. In fact, that will make a boring story to tell. It’s gonna be much nicer when people come out and say listen I was riding with my team. We went down one, but we have an opportunity and we won the second game and we continue to win. I made a prediction, before this season start, and I said hurricane in four and I’m maintaining that.”

 

The team has been on a rollercoaster ride this season. A few of its key players suffered injuries and for basketball critics, the team would not have made it this far in the league. Earlier in the season, star shooter Devin Daly was out for over a month due to an injury he sustained in a FIBA qualifier in February. He says that he and his teammates are fully recovered and ready to defend their title.

 

Devin Daly

Devin Daly, Shooter, Mirage Smart Belize Hurricanes

“When I gone down, the team mi definitely respond positively, still fight, still have a lot of will power. Same thing with when Coope gone down, when Beso gone down, when Iceman gone down; so a lotta key players get hurt ina di season—not to say any important than the other—but the team dah wah very deep team. We di play team basketball with the exception of this game weh gone. We definitely neva deh pan wi ‘A’ game, but we definitely di try put in this four days a practice fi try get back.”

 

The team is going back to the basics and strengthening its chemistry. Shooting Guard Ervin Orosco says that the home advantage has them motivated for this Friday’s matchup.

 

Ervin Orosco

Ervin Orosco, Shooting Guard, Mirage Smart Belize Hurricanes

“We’ve been down this road before. We wah use fi we strengths. Fi we strength dah fi get into the open court and run, push di ball. Dehn guys much bigger than we means dehn much slower than we. Dehn can’t match we ina di open court and that dah weh we plan fi use.”

 

Aside from its formidability, the Hurricanes are known for its halftime entertainment by the Nuvanti Sugarcanes, who at every home game provide family-oriented performances for the fans. Captain Kristen Woodye says that throughout the season they have been working around the clock and on Friday, they’ve put together a special piece.

 

Kristen Woodye, Captain, Nuvanti Sugarcanes

“We’ve put in hours of hard work. We’ve practiced on weekends, during the week, after school, after work. Our girls, we are working hard and we try our very best to bring it out for the crowd.”

 

Kristen Woodye

Duane Moody

“What can we expect this Friday night?”

 

Kristen Woodye

“Expect the usual. We wah come mash it up. When you see playoffs and you reach the finals. Things are getting tight. And of course we got to bring it as tight as the team has to.”

 

Duane Moody for News Five.


Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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