Berisford Codd Jr. ©
The top two teams in the league were in action on Saturday night, with the San Pedro Tiger Sharks (7-1) hosting Verdes (2-6) and the Griga Dream Ballers (6-1) visiting the winless Orange Walk Running Rebels (0-7). Both teams have been paced all season by balanced scoring, with each having four players averaging double figures. The leading scorers for both teams after their Week 8 victories are Dream Ballers guard Daniel “Buddy” Nolberto” at 17.14 ppg and Tiger Sharks center Martevuius Adams at 15.38 ppg.
San Pedro got its second look at Verdes after an early season victory in San Ignacio. It is likely that Coach Rico Black and Darren Bovell strongly urged the Sharks to erase that game from their minds, as Verdes has completely revamped its roster with the additions of players like Richard Troyer, Gene Myvett and Darnell Oden. At halftime in San Pedro, both teams were locked in a virtual dead heat, with San Pedro only leading by a score of 33-31. The third quarter is where the fortunes turned in favour of San Pedro quickly, as the Tiger Sharks opened up a 16 point lead to enter the fourth. While this second half onslaught was happening, Verdes could find no answer other than the veteran Richard Troyer. Unfortunately for Troyer, who delivered a season high 32 points, all of his teammates forgot their games at the Water Taxi, as all of them failed to crack double digits.
For the Tiger Sharks, who are a virtual lock for securing a playoff berth before the All-Star break, it’s important to keep building good habits and separating from weaker teams to get bench players minutes. Once again in true Tiger Sharks fashion, five players scored in double digits, led by big man Martevuius Adams. Adams stock has consistently been rising as he gets his “sea legs” under him. The big man has been knocking on the MVP conversation door since his break out performance against the Defenders, averaging 22.5 ppg and 8.25 rpg over his past 4 games. With the Tiger Sharks offense in high gear, the Tiger Sharks won the second half by 22 points to earn a convincing 92-68 victory.
In Saturday’s other match up, the Griga Dream Ballers went into Orange Walk and silenced a passionate Orange Walk fan base that remains desperate for their first win! The Dream Ballers backcourt did the heavy lifting once again with Captain Edgar “Boogie” Mitchell and Daniel “Buddy” Nolberto combining for 41 of the 85 points scored by Griga. Orange Walk, who has been competitive since the removal of Head Coach Brads Neal, was able to hang with the high tempo Dangriga offense for much of the first three quarters. With their usually high spirited home crowd behind them, the Rebels were only down two with 9 minutes to go in the game.
The hope of the home fans was all for nought, as Buddy and Boogie stepped up once again in the clutch by scoring a combined 13 points in the fourth to open up a double digit lead before the final minute. Both players attacked from all phases of the game offensively, with the sharpshooting Buddy working as a slasher to go 9 for 11 from the free throw line. Mitchell, who has arguably been the best point guard in the league over the past two seasons, has scored 19 ppg over his past two games, which is a promising trend for Griga given the inconsistent offense of Brandon Flowers and Tahj Wells. He delivered an efficient 20 points for Griga by shooting 8-12, incredible numbers for any player and even more so for a player with Mitchell’s small and wiry frame. Flowers, who played an excellent game against the Defenders, only went 3-11 from the field against the Rebels to finish with 6 points. Though he settled for mostly midrange jumpers, it was good for his confidence to control the glass throughout the game (15 rebounds), as he does not have the girth of some of the league’s other big men. Griga came away with yet another win by outlasting the Running Rebels 85-70. Having the biggest fan base in the league, expect to see quite a few Dream Ballers in the 2018 All-Star Game!
- MVP Candidate Jihad Wright struggled with his scoring touch, finishing with only 4 points in the game
- Big man Tahj Wells got into early foul trouble, which limited him to only 12 minutes and 38 seconds of playing time. Wells still managed to contribute 8 points in the little time he had on the floor.
- The Dream Ballers will host the Digicell Belize City Defenders on March 16 in Dangriga
- San Pedro Tiger Sharks will visit Orange Walk to take on the Rebels on March 16