NEBL bounces into week 2 with record attendance in most arenas as home teams won 3 of 4

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By Karim Juan, NEBL Commissioner
Sunday, January 26, 2020.The National Elite Basketball League (NEBL) had a full slate of games this past weekend as all 8 teams were in action. Every weekend all teams will be playing a game, with 4 games on the schedule. All scores, standings, schedule and player stats can be found on our website at neblbelize.com. All games can also be followed live online on our webpage by clicking on the game at the top of the website. When fans click on the game the live stats for that game will be accessible.
Verdes holds on to narrow win versus Orange Walk Running Rebels
On Friday night in the Verdes season opener at Sacred Heart College auditorium the home squad was able to secure their first win on the season, defeating Orange Walk Running Rebels 82 – 74. Orange Walk Running Rebels jumped out to an early 20 – 15 lead at the end of the first quarter, but by half time Verdes had a 9-point lead, 41 – 32. Verdes was able to hold this lead despite many offensive runs by the Running Rebels to secure the victory in front of a packed auditorium. Verdes was led by last year’s MVP, Kris Frazier who had the game high with 23 points to go with 8 rebounds and 4 assists while Captain Richard Troyer knotted a double-double with 17 points and 11 rebounds to go with 3 steals. American import Devin Thomas tallied 13 points and 8 rebounds in his first NEBL game while Tyrone Hall finished with 12 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists. In a losing effort Roger Reneau netted 19 points to go with 7 rebounds while Tyrie Orosco scored 15 points and grabbed 5 rebounds in only 13 minutes before being disqualified in the second quarter after obtaining two unsportsmanlike fouls. Matthew Young finished with a double-double of 11 points and 10 boards while American import Dajuan Cooper also recorded a double-double in his debut with 10 points and 11 rebounds and Sidney Bradley chipped in 10 points. Verdes shot 51% from the compared to Orange Walk’s 28%. Verdes missed 23 free throws while turning over the ball 31 times, and they were outrebounded 57 – 51 in the game.
D’Von Campbell led Punta Gorda Panthers to their first franchise victory with 15 dimes
On Saturday night Punta Gorda Panthers had their season debut at home in their state-of-the-art venue that welcomed in many PG fans that had the place rocking. Panthers had a 49 – 44 lead at intermission and they were able to hold on to the lead despite many offensive surges from Belmopan Bandits to take win their first game 95 – 88 after a 4 year hiatus from the league. Blemishing a wooden court, a packed arena and brand new jerseys, the new franchise surely was on display as they backed up their image with a huge win. Belizean American D’von Campbell had a league record with 15 assists to go with 12 points while Jevonte Hughes tallied a double-double with 24 points and 10 rebounds. Julies Travien also finished with a double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds while sharp-shooter Elbert Ariola had his break out game with 17 points and 5 rebounds, hitting 5 shots from behind the arc and Elsworth Itza finished with the game high 16 rebounds to go with 13 points. Belmopan Bandits was led by Jevaughn McKenzie who scored 23 points off the bench while American import Khalil Jabbie finished with 18 points and 4 assists and Brandon Flowers tallied a double-double with 14 and 10. Richard Smith III also had a double-double with 13 points and 12 boards while Brandon Rogers netted 10 points.
Belize City Defenders blew out Dream Ballers in Griga
Also on Saturday night Griga Dream Ballers boasted their improved venue with air conditioned comforts, but fell miserably to Belize City Defenders who destroyed Griga 84 – 55. Defenders recorded their first win of the season behind Nigel Jones who had a double-double with 27 points and 14 rebounds while big man Luther Page tallied 23 points and 3 rebounds while Devin Daly finished the night with 12 points and 9 rebounds. In a losing effort, American import Branden Sheppard was the top scorer for the home squad with 16 points and 11 rebounds while Delvon Henderson sank 11 points to go with 9 caroms while Daniel Conorque and Quinton Bowen chipped in 10 points apiece.