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Apr 28, 2006

Team Belize prepares for Mexico basketball match-up

Story PictureAs preparations intensify for the Belize-Mexico match-up next week, tonight News Five’s Janelle Chanona takes a closer look at the players who will defend our national pride on the hardwood of the Belize City Centre.

Janelle Chanona, Reporting
This morning Team Belize hit the hardwood at the City Centre in its first official practice.

The final roster is made up of Keith Acosta, Stephen Williams, Bart Sanchez, A.C. Augustine, Kirk Burgess, Kirk Shabba Smith, Darwin Carter, Richard Troyer, Leboyce Gladden, Kent Paulino, Englebert Cherrington, Sonny Watson, and Ernest Broaster as alternate.

Head coach Kevin Seroki says picking the players was tough.

Kevin Seroki, Head Coach, Team Belize
?It was a tough decision, but it was a great decision because?it was hard but just knowing the talent that?s out there, cause I know in the past that we?ve always had the same guys when national team comes around, the same local guys has always been on the team. But now we?ve got ten to twenty more guys out there that can play at this level.?

Bart Sanchez, Team Belize
?As always, it?s an honor and a pleasure you know, because I mean it?s your country you?re defending and every player loves to defend his or her country, so it?s an honor and I feel good about it. I feel good about our chances and I can?t wait until Tuesday.?

Janelle Chanona
?Now I know you play hard to the point where sometimes your temper might get to boiling point, how do you think you?ll control yourself emotionally to make sure you?re in it to win it??

Bart Sanchez
?Well it?s easy, because I can?t communicate with the referees anyway because they don?t speak my language, so that helps me a lot. In Panama I never did get angry, I never did get frustrated, so I can deal with the international refs because I don?t have to communicate with them, so I just play.?

Richard Troyer
?From what I?ve heard, it?s the size really and I know that like international players can shoot, so we?ve got the play the perimeter too, as well as inside and box out and rebound, that?s really important.?

Janelle Chanona
?What do you think you bring to the team, what do you think is your best asset??

Richard Troyer
?I can shoot, I can rebound, and I?ll hustle. I?ll try hard that?s all.?

Janelle Chanona
?Everybody keeps saying Mexico is gonna be a big team. I notice you?re one of the slightly smaller ones, do you think that?s gonna be an advantage or disadvantage? You will try to cut through them quicker or??

Stephen Williams
?No, it will be an advantage for me cause I will be much quicker, pretty faster than the other guys, so I?m looking for the challenge though.?

Keith Acosta
?It?s all about sizing up your opponent and the best competitor who competes the hardest win. And we?ve played against Mexico a lot and we know that we go out there and we play harder than them then we are bound to win.?

Janelle Chanona
?What do you think will be the toughest challenge for the Belize team??

Keith Acosta
?Getting up and down the floor. We have a group of guys that has been playing together for a while, just getting the new guys coming in and get used to our system that we have. Our system is to get up and down the floor. We know Mexico?s gonna be big, so for years our strategy has been: get up and down the floor, that up-tempo type game and just to get everybody involved.?

Team officials say the next four days will be about focus … with four-hour practice sessions planned for every day.

Frank Lord, Assistant Coach, Team Belize
?I know we have a great team, we?ve put together a great group of guys, the six guys from Belize I think is a good group. The six guys, the foreign players are great as well, so I think the Belizean public should just some out and support the Belize team. … I just would want to rub it in. I could remember going to the football game last week and I saw the patriotism in the fans. I would just like to see the same in the City Centre come Tuesday night.?

?One, two, three … Belize!?

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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