By Karim Juan, NEBL Commissioner
Monday, January 20, 2020. The National Elite Basketball League (NEBL) tipped-off its opening season on Saturday night in San Pedro Town as the defending champions, San Pedro Tiger Sharks hosted Belize City Defenders. Both teams got off to a good start as the score was knotted at 26 apiece at the end of the first quarter. However, in the second quarter the home team was able to open a 14-point lead and held a 10-point lead, 50 – 40, going into the half. In the third quarter Defenders extended their man-to-man defense to the length of the floor, which narrowed the gap to 4 points at the end of the third quarter, 74 – 70. After a hotly contested 4th quarter Tiger Sharks was able to provide an answer for all the offensive outburst that Defenders were able to muster, holding on to a 99 – 90 victory in the season opener.
San Pedro Tiger Sharks was led by Marteviuos Adams who tallied 24 points and 6 rebounds while newly acquired import, Antone Robinson Jr. chipped in 21 points and 7 boards. Francis Arana had 15 points, 6 assists, 4 steals and 3 rebounds and Jihad Wright finished with 13 points, 5 steals and 4 assists. San Pedro Tiger Sharks had a 46 – 38 advantage on points in the paint and a 23 – 18 edge on fast break points while their benched scored 19 points compared to 5 points from the Defenders subs. San Pedro Tiger Sharks shot 52% from the field while going 5 for 12 behind the three-point arc.
American import, Nigel Jones was the leading scorer for Belize City Defenders who had a double-double with the game high 27 points to go with 10 rebounds while Devin Daly tallied 23 points, 4 steals and 3 assists. Big man Farron Louriano netted 16 points to go with 9 rebounds while Mykiel Tzul also had a double-double with 11 points and 10 dimes. Belize City Defenders had the 20 – 12 edge on second chance points, but shot a dismal 45% from the charity stripe, missing 16 of 29 of their free-throw attempts. Defenders shot 42% from the field and 25% from behind the arc, hitting 7 of 27 of their three point attempts.
Friday, January 24 at 8:45 p.m. – Verdes vs. Orange Walk Running Rebels at Sacred Heart College Auditorium
Friday, January 24 ta 9:15 p.m. – Belize Hurricanes vs. San Pedro Tiger Sharks at Civic Centre
Saturday, January 25 at 8:00 p.m. – Punta Gorda Panthers vs. Belmopan Bandits at Toledo Sporting Complex
Saturday, January 25 at 8:00 p.m. – Griga Dream Ballers vs. Belize City Defenders at Russel Chiste Garcia Auditorium