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BECOL season finishes with a blast!!

The 5th annual BECOL Basketball Season came to a close on Friday night at the Falcon Field, and it finished off with a blast, as the enormous crowd was treated to 2 nail-biting game 3’s in the Under 18 and Seniors Division respectively.

In game 1, Benque Eagles jumped out to a great start, leading 24 – 8 at half time, behind 8 points from Akeem Watters and 6 points apiece for Marlon Salazar and Mark Tesucum.  However, in the third quarter, the local team, Rising Stars outscored Benque Eagles 14 – 9, while they continued their comeback run, outscoring Benque Eagles again in the 4th quarter, 15 – 9.  With Rising Stars dominating the second half, they were able to close the lead to 3 points, after trailing by as much as 20 points in the first half.  With 20 seconds remaining, and down by 3 points, Rising Stars had a chance to tie the game, but made a crucial turnover, which sealed the game for Benque Eagles.  It is déjà vu all over again, as the undermanned and underdogs Benque Eagles have been crowned champs for the second time this season, as they had just claimed the BTL U17 Championships in April.  In both championship runs, Benque Eagles defeated the undefeated and favorites for both tournaments, Golden Boys.  The MVP for the Finals was awarded to Neville Lisbey for the U18 Division.  

In the nightcap, 2 time champs, Hydro E-3 was going up against Maraton Western Hardware Warriors, who have been trounced from the playoffs every year by their nemesis, Hydro E-3.  With the championship trophy on the line, the game started off very physical and intense, with the first quarter ending 13 – 13.  Kurt “Chengo” Burgess finished the quarter with half of his team’s points, scoring most of his points in the paint, while Keith “Superman” Acosta also netted 7 points for his team, as both teams were establishing their big man in the game.  It was war between Chengo and Superman, and this start promised to be a great game.  Again in the second quarter, both teams scored 13 points apiece, keeping the first quarter knotted at 26 apiece.  Again, Burgess and Keith lead their teams in scoring, with 6 and 7 points respectively, making it obvious that with the stars shining, the game would be decided by the role players.

 Stanley "Stainless" Flowers regular season MVP.

 

Finally, at the end of the third quarter, Hydro E-3 took a 3 point lead, 37 – 34, going into the fourth quarter.  The intensity of the game was palpable, as each possession now seemed as if it was the last, while the fans tensely cheered on their teams, sensing that this crucial game 3 was up for grabs.  With 2 minutes remaining, and the game tied, some crucial mental breakdowns contributed to a swing of momentum.  Firstly, Emerson King loss his composure, stoning a player with the ball, which resulted in a Technical foul.  With this, Hydro E-3 had all the momentum to close off the game, taking a 3 point lead with 1:45 remaining in the game. However, 2 possessions after, Regis Morris was given a Technical Foul, and Maraton Western Hardware Warriors converted on both free throws, cutting the lead to 2 points.  After being awarded a throw in after the free throws, Emerson King nailed a huge three pointer, giving his squad a 1 point lead.  That was the shot that sealed the game, as they were able to hold on to win the game, 58 – 49, giving Maraton Western Hardware Warriors their first championship.  In the win, Keith “Superman” Acosta finished the game with 22 points, and the Finals MVP hardware, while regular season MVP, Ivan “Stainless” Flowers chipped in with the 16 points.  For Hydro E-3, Kurt “Chengo” Burgess was the high man with 17 points, while Regis Morris scored 8 points, complemented by a great game at the point guard position.  Kudos to both teams for a splendid game.

After game 2, the San Ignacio and Santa Elena dished out over 160 trophies to players and teams, after a very successful season.  The Finals MVP for the U21 Division was handed out to Vandell Fuller from Hydro, while Robert “Sample” Allen of Belmopan received the Finals MVP honors in the Over 35 Division.

The San Ignacio and Santa Elena Basketball Association would like to extend its gratitude to Mr. Steven Usher and BECOL for sponsoring its 5th annual BECOL Tournament.  Special thanks to all the referees and table officials, police officers, fans, players, coaches and everyone else that made this season a huge success.

By Karim Juan

 
Centrobasket U-15 results!!!

Belize played the nightcap on Friday against the home team, Mexico(2 – 0), where Belize jumped out to an early 9 – 2 lead, giving them confidence that they can defeat Mexico and play a huge game today.  The first quarter finished 20 – 16 in favor of Mexico, who went on a 11 – 0 run to close the lead.  Belize transition defense was lacking, as Mexico scored 10 fast break points in the first quarter.  In the second quarter, Belize struggled from the line, missing 5 free throws, yet their fast break points and a key 3-pointer by Tariq Middleton kept them in the game, while Brian White was huge on the boards, on both the offensive and defensive ends.  At the end of the half, Mexico was nursing a 36 – 32 lead, after leading by as much as 12 points in the second quarter.
The third quarter commenced with a 5 – 0 run by Mexico, who opened up a 9 point lead.  With Brian White on the bench, Belize struggled on the glass, giving Mexico numerous second chance points.  Again, poor free throw shooting plagued Belize, as they missed 5 of their last 7 free throw attempts to close the quarter.  Mexico extended their lead to 12 points to end the third quarter, taking a 57 – 45 point lead going into the fourth quarter.
In the fourth quarter, Mexico opened a 15 point lead, with less than 4 minutes remaining, when Belize switched from zone defense to man-to-man D.  This lead to forced turnovers, which resulted in fast break points and open shots.  With 30 seconds remaining, the lead was down to 5 points, 76 – 71, however, Mexico was able to seal the victory at the free throw line, hitting most of their shots down the stretch, winning 78 – 71.  For Belize, Tariq Middleton finished the game with 20 points and 7 rebounds, while Brian White was big with 18 points and 20 rebounds and Kyle Middleton scored 15 points and ripped 4 rebounds.
With the loss, Belize falls to 1 – 2, while Mexico improved to 3 – 0.  Belize is still in the hunt to advance to the FIBA Americas tournament which will take place next week Tuesday in Cancun, if they can win their remaining 2 games verses Guatemala and El Salvador, which they will play Saturday and Sunday respectively, and Mexico needs to beat Costa Rica tomorrow.

Karim Juan reporting

Last minute news coming is that Belize has massacred Guatemala 124 – 52. Team Belize was led by Brian White with double doubles 22 pts, 17 rebs, 1 block, Tariq Middleton with 22 pts, 4 steals, Tree-Anthony Moses 21 points, Tyler Myvett with 14 pts, Kirklann McMillan Smith also with double doubles, 13 pts, 11 rebs, 1 block and Daniel Sanchez with 12 pts.

With the win Belize moves to a record of 2-2, placing third in the Centrobasket standing keeping hopes to classify to the Fibaamericas tournament, where only the big fishes in the Americas play!!

 
Historic pass to COCABA U-17 finals!!!
The Belizean U-17 National Team made a historic pass into their first U-17 COCABA finals after defeating Panama in the semi-finals 78-61. The guys bounced back, as expected, with great courage and determination to win. This time they had the patience and effectiveness of a big team. Belize took an early lead in the first quarter but Panama managed to even the score at the end of the first half.  At the start of the second half, the game remained close with both teams struggling with turn-overs.

 U-17 National Team before the semi-final match.

Nevertheless, whatever pep talk coach Garcia told the guys was effective because the guys came out with one of the most spectacular fourth quarters ever seen from this team, guided by the hands of Tariq Middleton. Great defence and the combination of less turnovers and effective netting were the key for the win. With this win, Belize has secured a spot in the Centrobasket later in July which will be celebrated in Puerto Rico.
Team Belize was led by Tariq Middleton with 21 pts, 9 rebs, 3 assists and a block, Winston Reynolds 18 pts, Brian White 12 pts, 7 rebs, and Devin Daly with 12 pts. In a losing effort, Abid Oses scored 24 pts, Bryan Waithe 14 pts and Alberto Garcia 12 pts.
 
We would like to thank our fans in Belize and the ones living abroad who have followed the games and have sent positive remarks to our U-17 National Team.
 
Belize loses to Mexico; advances to semi-finals!!!!
Belize went into yesterday’s game with high morale; expectations were equally high with the two previous wins. No one imagined that this game would be one of the worst played in the tournament. Belize lost to Mexico, 59-57, because of the team’s overall inefficiency at scoring, rookie turnovers and lack of concentration to execute in crucial moments.

 Akeem Waters, 6' - Belmopan Comprehensive

Mexico took an early lead in the first quarter as Belize floundered on the court losing ground as they engaged in countless misses from the charity line and three point shots, a weakness which plagued them throughout the game. Our team ended the first half with a disappointing 7 point deficit (23-16). The game got more exciting in the second half as the team warmed up a little and, during the last two minutes of the third quarter, Belize finally took a lead. This lead would be volleyed from team to team until the last minute of the game.  At the end of the last quarter, with only 7 seconds on the shot clock and the game tied at 57 apiece, Belize got a golden opportunity: two free-throws.  Fans, holding their breaths in anticipation, gasped in dismay when both shots were missed.  In overtime, this loss was felt more keenly as Belize failed to score a single point while Mexico, with one shot, ended the game with a two point lead.

A painful loss, yes, and at moments like these, it might be easy to make negative comments and criticize our youths, but we should remember that in truth, most of these boys are novices and few of the players have any international experience. We would like to take this opportunity to say that even though we lost to Mexico, we are still proud of our young warriors because we know that they could have won the game. Perhaps this experience is propitious and can be counted as a lesson well learnt.  Games like this help us identify our weaknesses, giving us the opportunity to work on them and improve ourselves.  Our youths need to strive not to lose focus and to work on their turn-overs and execution.

Our boys have natural talent and as these guys gain more experience and participate in more international play they are bound to become more confident in themselves and therefore be more relaxed in their game. It is definitely not the end of the world, we got knocked down and now need to get back on our feet for the next battle. The best part of the tournament is about to begin. Now is the time to show what we are made up of. Go team Belize, fight hard and win!!!

Belize was lead by Tariq Middleton with 23 pts, Akeem Waters who had a great afternoon with 10 pts, 7 rebs and Brian White with 10 pts and a block. For Mexico, Josue Catarino scored 16 pts, Raul Frutos and Miguel Ramirez 11 pts and Daniel Rodriguez 9 pts.

Belize plays Panama this evening at 6 pm while Mexico goes against Guatemala at 8. The game can be followed at:

http://www.fibalivestats.com/matches/6891/01/51/00/68W8SKODYm546/

 
Two straight win for Belize in COCAB U-17 tournament!!!

It is the second day of competition in the COCABA U-17 tournament in Costa Rica and Belize continues to bulldoze its way over its opponents. This time, it was El Salvador that fell victim to our youths’ by a score of 77-66. Despite the win, Belize did not play a spectacular game. The boys had quite a few turnovers and were missing relatively easy layups during the first half. This was partly due to their excitement over their win the day before and could be seen in their play as they try to rush the game. In the second half, they had better control and paced their eagerness to score, decreasing the number of turnovers.

 Brian White, 6'2'' Wesley College

In the fourth quarter, the Belize U-17 team had El Salvador down by 20 points, but somehow lost its grip in the last two minutes of the game.   El Salvador immediately took advantage of this and was able to close the gap by 10 points.  Nonetheless, at the final whistle, team Belize moved to a 2-0 record, leading group B.

Brian White and Devin Daly had a monster night on the offense while Alejandro Baptist was big on the defense. Later this afternoon, at 4 p.m., Belize plays against Mexico to battle for first place This game can be followed live on:

http://www.fibalivestats.com/matches/6891/01/51/00/68W8SKODYm546/

Yesterday this site was down but today it’s up and working enjoy!!!

Team            PJ    PG    PP    PF     PC    DIF    AVE    PTS
1. Panamá        2    0    136    118    18    1.152    4      2
2. Costa Rica     1    0       1    74      78    -4    0.948     1
3. Guatemala     1    0       1    44     58    -14    0.758    1

Team             PJ    PG    PP    PF     PC    DIF      AVE    PTS

1. Belize           2    0    165    123      42    2.928       4    2
2. México          2    0    121    93       28    1.301       4    2
3. El Salvador   2    0       2    121    134    -13    0.902    2
4. Nicaragua    2    0        2     95    152    -57    0.625    2

 
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