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May 3, 2006

Mexican ballers trounce Belize 89-72

Story PictureThe Belize City Centre was filled with drama and patriotism last night as basketball fans gathered in the old capital to witness our national team face off with their Mexican counterparts. But as James Adderley reports, the joy of an early lead quickly degenerated into the agony of a disappointing rout.

James Adderley, Reporting
When the National Male Basketball Team of Belize faced its Mexican counterpart in Central Basket at Cuba in 1999, the Jewel celebrated a hard fought victory to make it three wins in a row over our northern neighbour.

This led to high expectations when Belize went into game one of this current four-game series in the 2006 Central American Championship against Mexico at the City Centre last night.

And in fact it was a picture perfect start when Leon Sony Watson hits Darwin Carter who sinks the trè.

Kenton Paulino, star from the University of Texas, gets the crowd going by sinking this pass from Carter for three points.

Paulino then displays his world class talent with this individual run and Belize is in the driver seat early in this ballgame.

For sure it?s the Paulino and Carter show, when Carter swishes the cord on this three-pointer. At the end of the first quarter Belize is up 23-14.

In the second, the visitors get their game going. Horacio Llamas establishes himself inside the paint and he would make us pay dearly.

Darwin Carter gets hot and hits three, three-pointers in a row, to provide of the offence in the second quarter. He would give Belize nineteen points.

Horacio Llamas, formerly of the N.B.A., shows off his game as he ties the ballgame at thirty-two points apiece.

Have another look at Hoarcio, a wicked no look behind the back past and he gets the assist thanks to Gonzalez.

And it?s all Mexico now in the ballgame as they bust up the Belize defence with accurate passing. Jorge Rochin would finish the play at the half Belize is down by sixteen points.

In the meantime, let?s give respect to the St. Luke Methodist Marching Band for providing the half time show.

Fresh into third quarter Belize show signs of life when Carter sets the alley-coop up for Leon Sony Watson who rocks it home.

Here?s the plight of our team in a nutshell people. The outside game is gone away and we can?t get anything going down low because of the size disadvantage.

Nevertheless, we can only conclude people that the Mexican Team was more cerebral and better coached as Llamas finds Lopez for two points.

Now watch Horacio Llamas, strip Carter then blocks him from retrieving the ball and again Lopez finishes. He would total ten game points.

Still, a bright spot for Team Belize off the bench is Leboice Gladden; he hits the three right here. Gladden then takes charge and strokes another three to bring the deficit to eleven points. Gladden would finish with nineteen points off the bench.

At the other end, Jorge Rochin closes the third quarter with this wicked three-pointer that gives Mexico a sixteen point lead.

In the fourth quarter Kenton Paulino, who would finish with fifteen points, cuts the deficit to eleven points.

However, too many unsuccessful outside shots were launched, too many individual efforts were mounted, and too much, way too much Horacio Llamas who would lead Mexico with sixteen points sealed Belize?s faith in the fourth quarter. We go on to lose game one 89-72.

Horacio Llamas, Center, Team Mexico
?We started playing aggressive in the second quarter and pressing the ball. They got pretty good shooters, and we ended with good defence in the first quarter and they scored every shot they wanted on us. After the second quarter they start having hard time shooting with all the time, so that?s when it got us and to attack the rim.?

Jorge Rochin, Power Forward, Team Mexico
?Well I think Belize did a really good job in the beginning using their ability. Then we came back with defence and composure and I think we got the win that way.?

Janelle Chanona
?What do you think you did wrong in this game, was it wrong to let them get the jump in the first quarter??

Jorge Rochin
?It?s not that we did wrong, they played a very, very good first half and we are not taking anything away from the team. We could play better in defence, but we will switch it up tomorrow we will come out the same intensity or better, and we?ll try to come out with another win.?

Keith Acosta, Point Guard, Team Belize
?Apparently execution was the key tonight. We were completely out of our sets. We didn?t execute a lot coming down the floor on offence and defence. They had a tremendous game plan. They came, they dictated the pace of the game, and they just controlled the entire game.?

Janelle Chanona
?I noticed your inside game wasn?t there at all. Most of your shooters were taking three and outside, and they were just shutting you guys down. What will you do different tomorrow night??

Keith Acosta
?Try and attack some more. You know we are smaller than they are, but we are quicker than they are, so we got to rely on our strength and attack them some more. We got to go at them, we can?t stay outside and let them dictate the pace of game we got to take it at them.?

We have no time to lick our wounds, Game two comes up tonight inside the City Centre and hopefully tonight Coach Kevin Seroki will be able to make the necessary adjustments.

This is James Adderley reporting for News Five.

Game two in the four game series takes place tonight at the Belize City Centre at eight. James Adderley and Pulu Lightburn will once again provide the play by play commentary.

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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