The 2016 National Elite Basketball League will commence its championship round, which will utilise the best of three format on Friday 29th April, at the Belize Elementary School Auditorium between the top seed in this year’s competition, the Smart Belize Hurricanes and the two- time defending champions the San Pedro Tiger Sharks.
On Thursday 21st April, out at the University of Belize Gymnasium in the City of Belmopan, the two- time defending champions, the San Pedro Tiger Sharks defeated the number two seed into the playoffs the Belmopan Bandits by the score of 58-55.
The top scorers for the San Pedro Tiger Sharks were Tyrone Edwards who experienced his best offensive game this year, when he scored 19 points, 4 assists and 3 steals; Gene Myvett contributed 11 points, 10 rebounds, 5 steals and 2 assists; Andrew Ortiz who scored 10 points and had 12 rebounds.
For the Belmopan Bandits, the top scorers were Jarrel Velasquez with 15 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals; Kurt Burgess with 12 points and 11 rebounds and Nick Brown who contributed 10 points, 10 rebounds and 2 assists.
On Friday 22nd April, at the Belize Elementary School Auditorium, the number one seed into the playoffs, the Smart Belize Hurricanes kept its winning form when it humbled the tough Dangriga Warriors by the score of 93-82.
The Smart Belize Hurricanes were led by Farron Louriano who scored 34 points, grabbed 15 rebounds, 1 assist and 2 steals; Jacob Leslie who scored 18 points, 1 rebound and 2 assist; Glency Lopez with 14 points, 4 rebounds, 6 assists and a steal and Darwin Leslie who contributed 12 points, 5 rebounds and 2 assists towards the win.
For the Dangriga Warriors, the top scorers were Daniel Nolberto with 26 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 steals; James Ewing with 25 points, 7 rebounds and a steal and Edgar Mitchell who scored 14 points, grabbed 4 rebounds, 2 assists and 5 steals.
The best of three playoffs series then continued on Saturday 23rd April, with a do or die situation for both the Dangriga Warriors and the Belmopan Bandits.
At the Stann Creek Ecumenical High School Auditorium in Dangriga Town, the Smart Belize Hurricanes eliminated the Dangriga Warriors by the score of 79-72 to advance to the championship round.
The Smart Belize Hurricanes was led by Darwin Leslie who scored 17 points, 2 assists, 1 steal and a blocked shot; Leroy Louriano with 16 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists and 1 steal; Brian White who scored 15 points, 16 rebounds and a steal and Jacob Leslie who scored 11 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals along with 1 blocked shot.
For the host team Dangriga Warriors, the top scorers were James Ewing with 20 points, 4 rebounds, 2 steals and 2 assists; Edgar Mitchell with 17 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists, 1 steal and 1 blocked shot; Jamir Flores who scored 12 points, 5 rebounds, 3 steals, 2 assists and 1 blocked shot and Macario Augustine who scored 10 points, grabbed 14 rebounds, 3 steals and 3 blocked shots.
Meanwhile, out at the San Pedro High School Auditorium in San Pedro Town, the San Pedro Tiger Sharks promptly eliminated the upstart Belmopan Bandits by the score of 70-55 to advance for the third consecutive time to the finals of the National Elite Basketball League.
For the San Pedro Tiger Sharks, the top scorers were Gene Myvett with 16 points, 6 rebounds, 4 steals and 3 assists; Jamal Kelly with 11 points, while Raul Roches scored 10 points, and grabbed 11 rebounds for the win.
For the Belmopan Bandits, the top scorers were Nick Brown who scored 13 points, 4 rebounds; Kurt Burgess contributed 12 points, grabbing 11 rebounds and 2 assists, while Stephen Williams scored 10 points, 4 rebounds and 3 steals.