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Jul 5, 2010

Belize Natl Basketball Team edges out Trinidad at Centro Basket

The Belize National Basketball team took on the top rated Venezuelan team on home turf and on Friday night it bombed the visitors by a twenty point margin. On Saturday the local boys headed for Santo Domingo on Saturday for the Centro Basket Games. At the opening game this morning against Trinidad and Tobago, Belize maintained the lead throughout, comfortably defeating its opponents. We begin with highlights of the game with News’ Five Isani Cayetano.

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

Team Belize, led by Milton Palacio, earned its first victory in the 2010 Centro Basket Championship today when the boys representing the Jewel squared off against Trinidad & Tobago inside the Palacio de Deportes in Santo Domingo.  Belize’s appearance in the regional tournament comes almost a year after an extraordinary display of skill and sportsmanship at the COCABA Games held in Cancun last year.  That qualifier brought the home team one step closer to a likely appearance in the 2012 Olympics.

It’s a possibility that the group, coached by former NBA player Marques Johnson, is trying to make a reality and today on the hardwood the boys did not disappoint. The match-up was off to a sloppy start but as the minutes flew by the highlights kept coming.  Capitalizing on a pass at half court and maneuvering inside the paint to give Belize a three point lead at the start of the third quarter was point guard Milton Palacio.  Palacio takes it to the hole over two defenders and makes the lay up look quite easy.

At the other end the Trinis bury a deep jumper inches shy of the three-point arc to bring the game to within one point. During the timeout the Trinis try to regroup their defense as their head coach analyzes the plays being ran by our national team.

Elsewhere in the ballgame Keith Acosta dishes from inside the paint to number eleven, Kenton Paulino, who sinks the pill from behind the three point line for a nine point lead. Another highlight came when Palacio, on the go, dished to Alex Carcamo who closes in for the two-handed jam over Trinidad’s center. Belize’s first match ended with a nine point win over Trinidad and Tobago with a final score of 80-71.  Following the game News Five spoke with Head Coach Marques Johnson who commented on key contributions made by Keenan Jordan to their first victory.

Marques Johnson, Head Coach, Belize National Team

marques johnson

“Well, just to start the game off and give us seven hard, strong minutes to start the game, start the half and then Keenan’s gonna be the guy that’s gonna play twice as many minutes as Sonny Watson.  But Sonny’s go to set the tempo early, use his body to be a physical presence.  But Keenan is kind of a savvy, experienced basketball player that we need on the court most of the time.”

Belize’s first win is quite important in building the confidence of the team which will face Mexico tomorrow.

Marques Johnson

“Major.  Major, for this team to start off the tournament right and our group we’re trying to be three and O going into the last game.  I don’t wanna look ahead, look past anybody.  Mexico is gonna be a tough opponent in this next game but you know we gotta take it one game at a time.  But you don’t have a winning record until you get the first one and we got the first one so that was important.”

For Milt game one was a bit nerve racking but after a few buckets and settling into a rhythm the butterflies were history.

milton palacio

Milton Palacio, Point Guard, Belize National Team

“I’m a little exhausted but it’s good to always get the first one behind us and a lot of guys were—everybody was nervous. I was a little nervous coming in, missing a lot of easy shots. But that’s the nature of the beast you know. You’ll be nervous a couple times and the ball gets real slippery. But I think when you get the first basket or get that first little bump then you’re into the game but it was good. All the guys pulled it together, we got a couple areas we gotta tune up but I think it was overall a good victory.”

Stay tuned to this station for continued coverage of the games, on Open Your Eyes and the live broadcast of the games at eleven o’clock Tuesday morning. You can also stream video live by going to Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

Our sportscaster James Adderley will have a detailed report in Sports Monday and a repeat of this game can be seen tonight at eight-thirty.

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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14 Responses for “Belize Natl Basketball Team edges out Trinidad at Centro Basket”

  1. Robert says:

    Congratulations to the boys, and credit to our new coach, whose professional experience, I think, can be seen in the improvement. [That's not to put down Kevin, who did a great job when we were "nobodies," and without much $$$ support!]

    However far they go in this tournament, I think basketball is a good sport for us, and I hope the country gets behind the team more every year. Success breeds success!

  2. abi says:

    and this is a news to put on the front page?WHO CARES!

  3. Belize It says:

    Go Belize!!! We need some Vuvuzuelas!

  4. Mar says:

    Good job boys! You make us proud!


    abi come on be positive

    we can’t even qualitify in concacaf games and at least in basketball we’re being represented very good up to now. let the world know at least we can showcase our potential in some other sports. see how mexico humble us when we play them and talk about us it’s very disrespectful but that’s the way mexicans are no wonder they never made it to the semifinals.
    congrats boys and keep going, try to bring the gold home.

  6. CEO says:

    Abi got to be from Guatemala or he is jealous because he could not make the squad! By the way what have you done to make your country and yourself proud?

    Yes Abi just in case you did not know; this is the type of news that should go on the front page of every news paper in Belize!

    By the way do you have any better news to put on the front page?

  7. Earl Grey says:

    Funny how a SPORTS WIN can lift the mood of an entire nation.

  8. David says:

    you know they got 2 got, 1 negative person…

    Im happy 2 c Belize is on the front page, doing some thing posititve…

    GO BELIZE!!! :-) )



  9. Jose Chacon says:

    Very good and positive news to start a newscast. Im tired of hearing news on crimes and corruption.

    Congrats to our national team. I hope this makes headlines in the caribbean and the world just like the crime news has so that tourist know us on a positive light.

  10. Concerned citizen says:

    Make us proud team Belize. Hopefully local based players are given the recognition they deserve but let’s be realistic, every country depend on players involved in the bigger professional leagues and Belize is no exception. This is a wake up call that there are Belizeans with talent and that there is a need to harness this talent at a local level. We need a higher level of play. If the traditional business community has a hard time financing sports then let the doctors and lawyers and insurance companies raking in the big bucks step up.

  11. abi says:

    Never said that you don’t have to cheer for somebody who put a ball Ina basket, but if you think it’s more important than 5 people who got shot and could be killed, then you really are a true belizean

  12. a concerned bzn says:

    Let’s say a little prayer for Abi. I’m sure he could use it. Big up to the BZN team.

  13. Electron says:

    Excellent job Team Belize. We are behind you 100%

  14. Champ says:

    Apparrently this person abi isn’t from Belize. If he is. Then he should be ashame to call himself a Belizean.

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