NEBL Playoffs start this weekend
Wednesday, April 20th, 2016
After ten weeks of basketball action, the San Pedro Tiger Sharks are moving into the playoffs of the 2016 National Elite Basketball League (NEBL) Tournament. Hoping to capture their third consecutive championship title to cap off an exciting season, the Tiger Sharks are prepared to challenge the top teams of 2016. The NEBL playoffs will use a best-of-three format, with the higher seeded team having the home court advantage. For the third straight season, Belmopan Bandits (#2 seed) and San Pedro Tiger Sharks (#3 seed) are meeting in the semi-finals. Smart Belize Hurricanes (#1 seed) and Dangriga Warriors (#4 seed) split their season series, where both teams won at home. Smart Belize Hurricanes is in the playoffs for the first time, while Dangriga Warriors is returning for their second straight season as the #4 seed.
The seed order for the playoffs was determined during the tenth round of games, which took place this past Friday, April 15th and Saturday, April 16th. In the first game on Friday, the Belmopan Bandits, who are presently on a 7-game winning streak, hosted the two time defending champions, San Pedro Tiger Sharks, at the University of Belize gymnasium in Belmopan City. Belmopan Bandits controlled the tempo of the game, nursing an early 33 – 31 lead at intermission. The lead was extended to 53 – 47 at the end of third quarter, and Belmopan Bandits was able to seal the 70 – 65 victory. As the winner of this game, the Belmopan Bandits clinched the #2 seed and home court advantage in the semi-finals.
Also playing on Friday night were Belize City No Limit and Smart Belize Hurricanes, in a match to see who is the best in the city, in the final game of the regular season for both teams. At the end of the first quarter, the game was tied and by halftime Smart Belize Hurricanes obtained a 6-point lead going into the other half. Eventually, Smart Belize Hurricanes won the game by a margin of 10 points, 81 – 71.
On Saturday, April 16th, San Pedro Tiger Sharks hosted Orange Walk Running Rebels at the Angel Nuñez Auditorium. From the first quarter, the home team blew open the game, with a 26 – 9 first quarter lead that they never relinquished, easily winning 93 – 62. San Pedro Tiger Sharks was led by Caleb Sutton who tallied 21 points, 7 rebounds, 4 steals and 2 assists. Douglas Valley had the best game of his NEBL career with 20 points, 4 boards, 3 assists and 2 steals, while Douglas Penland netted 12 points to go with 3 assists and 2 steals and Afrie Black finished with 11 points, 4 steals and 3 rebounds. Louis Pitterson had a double-double with 10 point and 10 rebounds while Gene Myvett recorded the first ever triple-double in league history with 10 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists.
Schedule for the playoff matchups are as follows:
Thursday, April 21st at 9PM – San Pedro Tiger Sharks versus Belmopan Bandits at the UB Gymnasium in Belmopan City
Friday, April 22nd at 9PM – Dangriga Warriors versus Smart Belize Hurricanes at the Belize Elementary Gym
Saturday, April 23rd at 9PM – Belmopan Bandits versus San Pedro Tiger Sharks at the Angel Nuñez Auditorium in San Pedro Town
Saturday, April 24th at 9PM – Smart Belize Hurricanes vs Dangriga Warriors at the Ecumenical College Auditorium in Dangriga Town
All games can be followed live on NEBL’s website 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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