Tiger Sharks narrowly defeat Belmopan Red Taigaz in first playoff match
Wednesday, May 27th, 2015
The San Pedro Tiger Sharks continue swimming towards the 2015 National Elite Basketball League (NEBL) championship. Now in the best of three playoff series, the defending champions defeated the Belmopan Red Taigaz in a narrow match on Saturday, May 23rd.
At the end of the regular season the top four teams that had advanced to the playoffs included the Cayo Western Ballaz, Dagriga Warriors, Belmopan Red Taigaz and San Pedro Tiger Sharks. The #1 seed (Cayo Western Ballaz) were pitted against the #4 seed (Dangriga Warriors), while the #2 seed (San Pedro Tiger Sharks) took on the #3 seed (Belmopan Red Taigaz). The two top teams had home court advantage this weekend and they both defended their territory fiercely.
On Friday, May 22nd, the Dangriga Warriors fell to the Cayo Western Ballaz. Fans crowded the Sacred Heart College Auditorium to cheer on their team, and Cayo Western Ballaz jumped out to an early start, claiming a 9 – 0 lead. In the second half Cayo Western Ballaz was able to assert themselves even more, easily claiming a 65-40 victory. The second match of this series will be hosted by Dangriga and they must win in order to continue their NEBL journey. If the Cayo Western Ballaz win the second match, they will advance to the NEBL finals for the second consecutive year.
San Pedro Tiger Sharks hosted the Belmopan Red Taigaz at the Angel Nunez Auditorium on Saturday, May 24th in the first matchup of their best-of-three series. The defending champs jumped out to a great start, taking a 13 point lead against Belmopan Red Taigaz, but at the end of the third quarter, the Red Taigaz were able to close the gap. However, the Tiger Sharks were not about to give up the fight, and they pushed for the lead in the final quarter of the game to claim a 74-72 victory. Tiger Sharks’ Ashton Edwards had the games’ highest score of 25 points. Edwards shot 67% from the field, hitting 10 of his 15 field goals, with three three pointers and nailing both free throws. Darwin “Puppy” Leslie tallied 17 points, six rebounds and three assists, while Tyrone Edwards scored nine points and four assists. Milton James finished the night for the Tiger Sharks with nine points and four rebounds. With the win, the defending champions are one game away from advancing to the NEBL finals for the second consecutive year. The Belmopan Red Taigaz must win the next match at their home current to send back the series back to San Pedro.
NEBL also issued out award for the regular season. Scoring title went to Gregory “Chippy” Rudon from Belize City No Limit, who scored 23.7 points/game, while the top rebounder for two consecutive years and Defensive Player of the Year for the second consecutive year is Kurt “Chengo” Burgess from Cayo Western Ballaz who ripped 12.1 boards/game. Terrel Eskridge from Belmopan Red Taigaz receive the Most Assists award with 4.25 assists per game. The Coach of the Year honors went to Douglas Smith of Cayo Western Ballaz, who had the best record going into the playoffs and the Regular Season MVP was awarded to Richard Troyer from Cayo Western Ballaz. The All Star MVP was Farron Louriano from Belmopan Red Taigaz who tallied 26 points and 8 rebounds with a 33% efficiency rating.
Upcoming games for the second round in the playoff series will see Cayo Western Ballaz facing off with the Dangriga Warriors on Friday, May 29th at the Stann Creek Ecumenical College Auditorium. While on Saturday, May 30th the Belmopan Red Taigaz will take on the San Pedro Tiger Sharks at the University of Belize Gymnasium. Both games start at 9PM sharp. Fans are reminded that all games have a live webcast with the game scores, play-by-play analysis and the box scores. Fans can follow every game live on our webpage, as scores are in real time. The NEBL webpage also contains news, team standings and player statistics and it can be found at nebl.sportingpulse.net.
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