by Glenn Tillett
I thought that then 2019 Hurricanes swingman Devin Daly was the best player in the NEBL last season, and even though the very talented Kris Frazier won the MVP award, San Pedro Tiger Sharks’ big man Martevuius Adams was most valuable to their efforts to win the championship. The Sharks would not have won without him.
His presence in the middle on their smaller home court made them dominant, almost invulnerable at home, at both ends, locking down the paint and forcing their opponents to play at their pace.
Tonight he scored San Pedro’s first points but wasn’t a huge factor in the game, an 85-77 loss that was almost a 20 point blow out with less than 3 minutes to go.
The game at the Belize City Center was also the NEBL 2020 opener for City fans and featured the return of Belizean American Alex Carcamo, a 20-year veteran forward who is still celebrated for being instrumental in Belize winning the 1998 CARICOM championships. That was Belize’s first regional tournament championships and one that is still very much celebrated by Belizean fans today.
Right on cue, Carcamo scored the Benny’s Hurricanes first points on a patented midrange jumper.
Carcamo (17/4) is joined on the Hurricanes’ backline by two other Americans, Jamell Harris (17/12) and Jamaal Samuel (19/9) and their length proved to be a Maginot Line defensively, with sharpshooting efficiency offensively especially from deep. J&J was 6-13 from three, particularly knocking down timely nothing-but-net shots when Da Sharks clogged the middle.
Diminutive Francis “Frank” Arana, the shortest player on the court, was the night’s highlight reel and his spark plug play twice brought the visitors back to within a few points but they could not bridge the deficit in a game in which they trailed from the opening minute. He led all scorers with the game-high 27 points, along with 5 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals in a game-high 40 minutes of play.
The aforementioned Adams did not have a good night and as he rounds into better shape as the season progresses the defending champions will be better on the road. Martevuius is less dominant on the big Civic by da Riva court.
That Hurricanes backline is the tallest I have ever seen in a Belize tournament and may also be the most skilled. If indeed Darwin Carter, another CARICOM and Raiders alum joins them, and he has anything much left …