San Pedro Tiger Sharks make it to the Playoffs
Wednesday, April 13th, 2016
After two back-to-back wins in the most recent round of games, the San Pedro Tiger Sharks have secured a position in the 2016 National Elite Basketball League (NEBL) Playoffs. With only one week remaining in the regular season, the four playoff teams have already been decided, with the other four teams having been eliminated from playoff contention. But, while the teams have been selected for the playoffs, there is still no decision as to who will face off in the championship match, and who have to settle third and fourth palace. The only team assured for the championship match is the Smart Belize Hurricanes, who captured the #1 seed in a spectacular season. The San Pedro Tiger Sharks must also win their last two games versus Belmopan Bandits and Orange Walk Running Rebels to clinch the #2 seed, otherwise, the Belmopan Bandits will take the #2 seed if they defeat the Tiger Sharks and Independence Thunderbolts. Dangriga Warriors will be the #4 seed if Belmopan beats San Pedro, but if San Pedro beats Belmopan they will be the #3 seed.
The round of regular season games started on Friday, April 8th, with the Cayo Western Ballaz taking on the Belmopan Bandits at the University of Belize gymnasium in Belmopan. At the half, Belmopan was up 35 – 24, but the lead was cut to three points, 50 – 47, going into the fourth quarter. That quarter was when Belmopan opened the lead with a few three point shots, easily winning 73 – 57. With the loss, Cayo Western Ballaz were eliminated from the season, while the Belmopan Bandits are riding a seven game winning streak going into the last weekend of the regular season.
The second Friday game was between the San Pedro Tiger Sharks and Belize City No Limit. Held at Bird’s Isle in Belize City, the match saw both teams trying to bounce back from a loss the previous week. San Pedro Tiger Sharks jumped out to an early 18 – 10 first quarter lead, maintaining a double-digit lead for most of the game, to get the 68 – 55 victory. San Pedro Tiger Sharks’ top scorers were Caleb Sutton with 20 points and 3 steals and Raul Roches with 13 points, 9 rebounds and 3 steals.
Games continued on Saturday, April 9th. Independence Thunderbolts traveled the Belize Elementary Gym in Belize City, in their final regular season meeting between Smart Belize Hurricanes. Independence Thunderbolts held a 22 – 20 lead at the end of the first quarter, but the home team, Smart Belize Hurricanes, gained the lead at 37-36 at halftime. By the third quarter, Smart Belize Hurricanes ran with the lead and got their final home win for the season, with a margin of 28 points, 92 – 64.
In their second game of the weekend, the San Pedro Tiger Sharks traveled to Orange Walk on Saturday night to take on the Running Rebels. San Pedro Tiger Sharks jumped out to a 24 – 11 first quarter lead, which they never relinquished, easily winning 89 – 49. San Pedro Tiger Sharks’ top scorer was Caleb Sutton, who scored 21 points to go with 4 steals and 3 rebounds, while Andrew Ortiz finished the night with 17 points and 8 boards. Jamal Kelly chipped in 10 points for the win.
In the final match of the weekend, Orange Walk Running Rebels hosted the Independence Thunderbolts at the Orange Walk Multi Purpose Complex on Sunday, April 10th. The visitors held a 16 – 15 lead at the end of the first quarter, but Orange Walk was able to grab a 28 – 24 lead by half time. At the end of the third quarter, Independence Thunderbolts regained the lead, 48 – 42, and half way through the fourth quarter, the visiting team was nursing a 54 – 50 lead. However, the home team went on a 22 – 5 run to end the game, getting the 72 – 59 victory.
The last round of games in the regular season will start on Friday, April 15th.
Friday, April 15th at 9PM- Smart Belize Hurricanes versus Belize City No Limit at Bird’s Isle basketball court in Belize City
Friday, April 15th at 9PM- San Pedro Tiger Sharks versus Belmopan Bandits at UB Gymnasium in Belmopan City
Friday, April 15th at 9PM – Cayo Western Ballaz versus Orange Walk Running Rebels at the Orange Walk Multi Purpose Complex in Orange Walk Town
Saturday, April 16th at 9PM – Belmopan Bandits versus Independence Thunderbolts at Independence High School Auditorium in Independence Village
Saturday, April 16th at 9PM – Orange Walk Running Rebels versus San Pedro Tiger Sharks at the Angel Nuñez Auditorium in San Pedro Town
Sunday, April 17th at 1PM- Independence Thunderbolts versus Belize City No Limit at Bird’s Isle basketball court in Belize City
Sunday, April 17th at 1PM – Dangriga Warriors versus Orange Walk Running Rebels at the Orange Walk Multi Purpose Complex in Orange Walk Town
All games can be followed live online at nebl.sportingpulse.net, with real time box scores while the game is being played. The website also has all game scores, box scores, players and teams’ statistics, along with standings for the season.
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