Past weekend witnessed great individual offensive surges in NEBL games
by Karim Juan
The National Elite Basketball League (NEBL) hosted four games over the past weekend and all 4 games witnessed great offensive and defensive surges in the statistical arena with great individual feats and much needed team wins.
Belmopan Bandits defended home turf Wednesday night
On Wednesday night, Orange Walk Running Rebels travelled out west to take on Belmopan Bandits at the UB gymnasium in a quick turnaround, as both teams had played the previous Saturday where Orange Walk Running Rebels notched their first win of the season at home versus Bandits. With the win coming in blow out fashion, Orange Walk Running Rebels expected to build on that momentum, and early in the third quarter they had a 39 – 30 lead and were in control of the tempo of the game. However, Belmopan Bandits went on a 14 – 3 run to grab a 2 point lead which they never relinquished. Belmopan’s center, American Jevonte Hughes, tallied the first 30 point scoring this season, finishing the night with 32 points, 7 rebounds and 2 steals, as Bandits was able to secure the 78 – 72 victory. With the win, Belmopan is still eyeing the fourth and final playoff spot, but must quickly put together a few wins in order to remain in contention.
Verdes defeated Orange Walk at the SHC Auditorium
Orange Walk Running Rebels had another quick turnaround as they had to travel further west on Friday night to take on the hot Verdes, who is chasing Griga Dream Ballers for the #1 spot in the league. The game was always close as Verdes was unable to sustain a double-digit lead, where they were able to pull away at the end of the fourth quarter to claim the 97 – 87 win. This game witnessed another offensive explosion as big man, Kris Frazier, was able to outdo the league best that was set on Wednesday in Belmopan with a monster double-double, racking up a new NEBL season high with 33 points, 13 rebounds, 2 steals and 2 assists. With the loss, Orange Walk Running Rebels is now in a dire position to win their remaining 5 games in order to finish the season at 6 – 6. With the bye week for Griga Dream Ballers, Verdes will try to gain some ground in the wins column as they take on their rivals, San Pedro Tiger Sharks. On the other hand, San Pedro Tiger Sharks are in desperate need of a W after losing their last three games. A fourth loss will send them to the #5 seed, which that franchise has never experienced in its 6 year history, always finishing the regular season as either #1 or #2 seed.
Muerte shoots Hurricanes back to winning ways
The other game on Friday night saw Stephen “Muerte” Williams gaining back his outside stroke, sinking 6 three-pointers, finishing with 20 points to help Mirage/Smart Belize Hurricanes bounce back to 91 – 76 win. Hurricanes had the services of newly introduced big man, American Shannon Fowler who finished the night with 15 points, 7 rebounds and 4 dimes. With the win Hurricanes remains atop the standings, trailing both Griga Dream Ballers and Verdes by only 1 game. With the loss, Belmopan Bandits has dropped to the #6 seed, sharing the same record as Digicell Belize City Defenders, with both teams outside looking in for a playoff spot. Belmopan Bandits will host Belize City Defenders on Friday night at the UB gymnasium in Belmopan, where the losing squad will fall to 2 – 5, drastically reducing any playoff hopes. This is a huge game for both teams, as the Defenders will try to avenge their season opener loss that Bandits stole at the Civic.
Griga continues to roll as Henderson tallies a trip double
Griga Dream Ballers continues to roll on their 6-game winning streak, edging Belize City Defenders on Saturday night in front of the sold out Russel Chiste Garcia Auditorium in the cultural capital. The win keeps Griga in the driving seat of the standings, as they sit alone at the top, while Verdes and Hurricanes are in hot pursuit of the coveted #1 seed. Belize City Defenders’ fourth quarter woes have continued, as the four games they have lost was lost in the last few minutes of the game. Verdes defeated them in overtime, Bandtis won on a game winner, Verdes defeated them by 5 points at home and this weekend they were losing by 3 points with under a minute to play. They have now hired the services of Matthew Smiling and they must quickly address their fourth quarter syndrome to make a push for the fourth playoff spot. Griga is boasting the season best, six game winning streak, while Boogie, DC, Kelly and Hendo are swinging on all cylinders, developing greater chemistry as the season progresses. Delvon Henderson tallied only the third triple-double in six NEBL seasons, exiting the night with 21 points, 18 rebounds and 11 blocked shots. This coming weekend Griga gets the bye week with a change to embrace much needed rest for their players.
Below are the standings where teams are ranked based on number of points. The variation in standings is due to the fact that all teams have not played the same number of games.
|1||Griga Dream Ballers||7||6||1||13|
|3||San Pedro Tiger Sharks||6||3||3||9|
|4||Mirage/Smart Belize Hurricanes||5||3||2||8|
|5||Belize City Defenders||6||2||4||8|
|7||Orange Walk Running Rebels||7||1||6||8|
All scores, standings, player statistic and team statistic can be found on our webpage at neblbelize.com
Thursday Night: Mirage/Smart Belize Hurricanes vs. Orange Walk Running Rebels at Belize Civic Center
at 8:30 p.m.
Friday Night: Belmopan Bandits vs. Belize City Defenders at UB gym at 9:00 p.m.
Sunday Afternoon: San Pedro Tiger Sharks vs. Verdes at San Pedro High School at 1:00 p.m. (