On Saturday night Punta Gorda Panthers had their season debut at home in their state-of-the-art venue that welcomed in many PG fans that had the place rocking. Panthers had a 49 – 44 led at intermission and they were able to hold on to the lead despite many offensive surges from Belmopan Bandits to take win their first game 95 – 88 after a 4 year hiatus from the league. Blemishing a wooden court, a packed arena and brand new jerseys, the new franchise surely was on display as they backed up their image with a huge win. Belizean American D’von Campbell had a league record with 15 assists to go with 12 points while Jevonte Hughes tallied a double-double with 24 points and 10 rebounds. Julies Travien also finished with a double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds while sharp-shooter Elbert Ariola had his break out game with 17 points and 5 rebounds, hitting 5 shots from behind the arc and Elsworth Itza finished with the game high 16 rebounds wto go with 13 points. Belmopan Bandits was led by Jevaughn McKenzie who scored 23 points off the bench while American import Khalil Jabbie finished with 18 points and 4 assists and Brandon Flowers tallied a double-double with 14 and 10. Richard Smith III also had a double-double with 13 points and 12 boards while Brandon Rogers netted 10 points.
Belize City Defenders blew out Dream Ballers in Griga
Also on Saturday night Griga Dream Ballers boasted their improved venue with air conditioned comforts, but fell miserably to Belize City Defenders who destroyed Griga 84 – 55. Defenders recorded their first win of the season behind Nigel Jones who had a double-double with 27 points and 14 rebounds while big man Luther Page tallied 23 points and 3 rebounds while Devin Daly finished the night with 12 points and 9 rebounds. In a losing effort, American import Branden Sheppard was the top scorer for the home squad with 16 points and 11 rebounds while Delvon Henderson sank 11 points to go with 9 caroms while Daniel Conorque and Quinton Bowen chipped in 10 points apiece.