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Oct 2, 2023

IBL Goes Into Playoffs, All Star Weekend Coming Up

Goodnight and welcome to another edition of Sports Monday, I am Paul Lopez. The time when there is no one there to feel sorry for you or to cheer for you is when a player is made.” That’s a quote from former basketball player, Tim Duncan. We begin tonight’s coverage with some Friday night action inside the Saint Catherine Auditorium. The Ministry of Health & Wellness took on Belize Tax Services in Division A of the Interoffice Basketball League 2023. Going into the match, MOHW stood in first place and Belize Tax Services stood in second.


The starting whistle is blown and Joshua Bradley takes control for the Belize Tax Service.  He drives it down the left all the way to the rim and makes good on the basket. Neil Nicholson to Darwin Zuniga, Zuniga drives and makes a bounce pass to Kyle Williams. A jump shot from Williams puts MOHW on the score board. Brion Neal to Nicholson at the three-point line. Tyrique Dawson to his right, receives the ball, drives and forces a pass to Neal. Picked up by captain Leon Williams who goes up strong.  Raheem Flowers gets in trouble at the free throw line, dishes out to Zuniga. Zuniga sends it to Nicholson on the baseline, sets a screen on Neal, Nicholson comes around and makes the jump shot.


The game is now at five points to four in favor of Belize Tax Service. Captain Williams is fouled under the rim and this is his second time at the free throw line. He makes good on the first and misses the second. Williams would go on to make ten points at the free throw line. Bradley to Dawson, across to Ryan Lucas, Lucas finds Jermaine Bryant who drills the three-pointer. The first quarter ended fifteen to seven points in favor of Belize Tax Service. They would continue to display dominance in the second and third quarter, finishing the half with an eight point lead and the third with a seven point lead.  NEBL MVP Nigel Jones and his Defenders teammate Raul Vanegas are out on a Friday night enjoying the game.


The Belize Tax Services has thirty-six points going into the fourth. MOHW is down by seven with twenty-nine points. Tyrique Dawson down the court, the euro-step, and puts it in for two. MOHW is struggling to find a rhythm after that play; Nicholson passes out to Rashawn Lainfiesta. He loses it in the paint. Belize Tax Services in possession but Nicholson also loses the ball. Ashley Hemsley recovers it, loses it, and gets it back. He then puts up a quick three from deep and that’s no good. Ron Nicholson with the rebound sends a long pass to Bradley on the other end, he powers over  Neil Nicholson  and makes the basket, Neil Nicholson trying to ask for a change out of frustration.


Neil tries to drive down the baseline but he finds himself in a jam. He forces the pass to Ryan Michael, Bradley almost recovers it. Kyle Williams gets it but mistakenly passes the ball off to Dawson. The play is completed on the other end, as Michael tries to sell the flop. The game ended in favor of Belize Tax Services, with forty-nine points to MOHW’s forty-three points.  On Friday Night the Belize City Civic Center will come alive with the IBL’s All Star Games to kick off the playoffs.


Our Under-Twenty-Three National Male Volleyball Team came short of securing a position on the podium at the Under-Twenty-Three Central American Volleyball Championship in Panama. On Saturday, Belize took on Nicaragua. A victory would have secured a silver medal for Belize. A loss in five sets would have meant a bronze medal. Nicaragua with the first service of the game, set to Kerwin Palacio, Nicaragua is unable to pick it up, but the referee calls a net violation, point to Nicaragua. Service, set to Kaelen Ingram and that’s a kill for Ingram, first point for team Belize. Brayden Nicholson with the serve and the ball is set to number eight for Nicaragua.


He tips it over the heads of the blockers and it’s too much for Tyrel Lucario, point for Nicaragua. Picked up by Lucario, Richardson sets Palacio. Nicaragua absorbs the attack but sends it outside the play area. That’s a second point for team Belize. Nicaragua would go on a seven point run, forcing Belize to take multiple time outs.  Up by seven points, Nicaragua with the serve. Lucario sends it back. Nicaragua takes advantage and puts the ball in the play area. But, the referee calls a violation and the point goes to Belize. The first set ended twenty-five points to thirteen in favor of Nicaragua. Nearing the end of the second set, team Belize held a convincing five-point lead. Ernest Broaster with the service, picked up, back to Richardson, Broaster attacks.


Nicaragua takes control. Back to Lucario, Richardson, Eliziar Mejia. Nicaragua launches another attack, picked up by Broaster, but a net violation is called on Palacio. That’s a point for Nicaragua. Service picked up by Lucario, Richardson to Palacio with the soft touch and that one goes in. Nicaragua is able to bring back this game, Belize now at game point, Nicaragua has twenty-three and serving.  Service to Lucario, Richardson, Ingram with the attack, blocked and picked up. Nicaragua sets its number six and that one is too much for Belize’s blockers. The set is tied at twenty-four.


Picked up and sent over by Broaster. Belize scrambles to recover and Nicaragua finds the open. Nicaragua now at game point, ball picked up by Broaster, Richardson; Mejia is caught off guard and he hits that one all the way across the play area and it goes outside. Nicaragua went on to also win the third set leaving Belize to settle for fourth place in the tournament.


And, before we wrap up we would like to send a huge shout out to the Belizean athletes who competed in the CODICADER/PARACODICADER Athletics Games in Costa Rica recently. Annalise Pascasio secured a silver medal in the two hundred meter race and a bronze in the one hundred. Kadine Thomas won the bronze medal in the long jump. Denisha Diego secured silver in the one hundred meter race and Bronze in the two hundred. We say congratulations to them and to all our athletes who competed.


Well folks that is all we have for you in this week’s coverage of Sports Monday. Catch you in the next one.

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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