The Cayo Western Ballaz recovered from a heart-breaker loss to the San Pedro Tiger Sharks to outlast Smart No Limits 84-70 and post their 10th victory of the National Elite Basketball (NEBL) Competition at Birds’ Isle last Friday night, May 2.
SMART’s Andrew Ortiz rammed home three monster dunks as he led No Limits with 21 pts, as they seized an early 13-4 lead in the first quarter, but Kurt “Chengo” Burgess responded with two 3-pointers to score 20 pts, 11 boards and the Cayo Western Ballaz took over the lead 21-17 at the end of the quarter. Travis Lennan added 18 pts, five boards and Farron Louriano laid up 14pts, snagging 14 boards as the visitors cruised to a 42-36 lead at intermission.
Johan Bermudez added 10pts, 10 boards, Ivan Flowers had seven points and three boards, while Mark O’Brien and Elroy Willis chipped in four points each to lead 57-54 at the end of the third quarter.
Greg “Chippy” Rudon also hit a 3-pointer as he led the SMART counterattack with another 15 pts, while Ervin “Poty” Orosco drained in a 3-pointer to add 11pts and Matthew Young tossed in eight. Akeem “Timmy” Trapp hit a 3-pointer as he chipped in six points.
The San Pedro Tiger Sharks posed their 11th victory as they dominated the Belmopan Bandits 84-70 at the University of Belize Gymnasium also on Friday. Jamal Kelly hit four 3-pointers as he and Michael Adams scored 18pts each for the visitors, and Winston “Air Jun” Pratt had 13 pts, eight boards to lead 14-13 in the first quarter and 38-36 at intermission.
Chris Rodriguez led the Bandits with 20pts, Dorian Leslie added 11pts and Jamal Harris scored 10pts to trail 48-58 at the end of the third quarter. Darwin “Puppy” Leslie and Rico Black each drained in a 3-pointer as each added seven points for the Tiger Sharks’ 84-70 win.
Randy Usher scored a monster 24 pts and grabbed five boards as he led the Orange Walk Running Rebels to their second victory: 78-74 over the Toledo Diplomats at the Punta Gorda multi-purpose sporting complex on Saturday night.
Keith Paulino drained in two 3-pointers as he added 17 pts, eight boards, while Ian Carcamo had nine points and seven boards.
John Diaz added seven points and Kevin Arnold chipped in four.
Elbert Ariola hit three 3-pointers as he led the Diplomats with 21 pts, and Ray Arzu followed with a 3-pointer as he added 14pts.
Daniel Valerio and Frank Lopez each added 10 pts, while Jovannie White had eight and Ervin Avila tossed in four.
The competition continues with SMART No Limits visiting the Belmopan Bandits at the UB gym on Thursday night.
The Corozal Heat will challenge the Running Rebels at the Orange Walk Multipurpose Complex on Friday, and the Cayo Western Ballaz will travel to Punta Gorda to take on the Toledo Diplomats on Saturday.
San Pedro Tiger Sharks will visit the Dangriga Warriors at the Ecumenical auditorium.