The San Pedro Tiger Sharks secure a spot in the 2019 NEBL finals

Monday, May 13th, 2019

The San Pedro Tiger Sharks are seeking their third championship title, after netting their spot in the 2019 National Elite Basketball League (NEBL) finals on Saturday, May 11th. The two- time NEBL champions defeated the Dangriga Dream Ballers by a margin of four points at the Russel Chiste Garcia Auditorium. The island team will now be facing the defending champions Mirage/Smart Belize Hurricanes, who also advanced to the finals after blowing away Team Verdes.

The NEBL’s finals began on Friday, May 10th in San Ignacio Town, Cayo where the #1 seed of the tournament, Verdes, hosted Mirage/Smart Belize Hurricanes in a do-or-die game. The visiting team attacked first, jumping to an early 20-6 lead. But as the game proceeded in the second quarter, Verdes was able to cut the deficit to two points. Hurricanes attacked again, and by intermission they were back leading 46-29. The second half of the game was dominated by the Hurricanes, who did not give the home team any chances to close the gap. At the end of the final quarter, the visiting team blew Verdes away with an easy 79-66. Hurricanes became the first team to advance to the finals.

Mirage/Smart Belize Hurricanes advance to the 2019 NEBL Finals

On Saturday, May 11th, another decisive game took place to determine Hurricanes’ opponent for the finals. The San Pedro Tiger Sharks travelled to Dangriga Town in southern Belize, where they faced the Dangriga Dream Ballers before a packed auditorium. The island had one of the toughest games in the NEBL season as their opponent took a 20-11 lead at the end of the first quarter. Tiger Sharks tried their best to close the gap in the first half of the game, but Dangriga Dream Ballers controlled the first half of the match and by halftime they were leading by eight points.

Jihad Wright - File Photo

During the third quarter, the game intensified as the Tiger Sharks pressured harder on the Dream Ballers, who could not keep up their earlier momentum. This allowed the island squad to cut the deficit of the score to two points, only losing the third quarter 55-53. The final quarter drew loud cheers from the audience as Dangriga tried to maintain their lead and seal the victory to finals. However, the island team tied the match in the last two minutes before the end of the game. Tiger Shark’s Gene Myvett came up with a huge offensive rebound, giving San Pedro a two-point lead. The island boys officially sealed the game at the free throw line, securing their spot in the finals with a final score of 67-63.

Tiger Sharks players that contributed to the big win were Jihad Wright, who tallied 15 points, nine boards, four assists and three steals. Martevious Adams finished with 12 points and nine rebounds. Kurt Burgess scored nine points and grabbed six rebounds.

San Pedro Tiger Sharks advance to the 2019 NEBL Finals!

The finals will now be between San Pedro Tiger Sharks and Mirage/Smart Belize Hurricanes in a best-of-five final series. Each of these teams have won two NEBL championships. Tiger Sharks won it in 2014 and 2015. While Hurricanes became NEBL champions in 2016 and 2018.

The upcoming games in the finals are:

Game 1- Saturday, May 18th San Pedro Tiger Sharks vs Mirage/ Smart Belize Hurricanes at the Angel Nuñez Auditorium.
Game 2- Friday, May 24th San Pedro Tiger Sharks vs Mirage/ Smart Belize Hurricanes at the Belize City Civic Centre.
Game 3- Saturday, May 25th San Pedro Tiger Sharks vs Mirage/ Smart Belize Hurricanes at the Angel Nuñez Auditorium.
If a fourth and fifth game is necessary, the first one will take place on May 31st in Belize City and the last one in San Pedro Town. All games start at 9PM, except for game 1, which has been rescheduled for 9:30PM.

All scores, standings, player statistics and team statistics can be found on the webpage at neblbelize.com.

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