Tuff E Nuff playing hard for each other and for San Pedro
The 2012 Inter-office Basketball competition is well underway and hometown players Tuff E Nuff Boys are making waves by winning their first four games despite the fact that the first game they won was also the very first game they played together as a team this year. Tuff E Nuff is the only team from San Pedro competing in the tournament for 2012 and from all indications they seem to have a very good chance of bringing home the gold. However, owner/player/coach Rico Black says that this year they face some strong competition. “It won’t be easy, but we have a good chance…” smiles Black.
Unlike previous inter-office seasons, where players had to be employees of the team office, this year’s tournament has been opened up to the general public and all of the roasters have been strengthened by an influx of ex semi-pro basketball players who have joined with the office employees to play for the championship. The combination of experience and ability that these ex-semi pro ballers bring makes the teams stronger and lift the intensity of the competition to a whole new level for inter-office basketball. The San Pedro Sun sat down with player-coach Rico Black to get his impressions on this year’s teams, the competition, his outlook for the tournament and the performance of his team thus far.
“This season we were caught a bit off guard”, explained Black. “We only heard that the competition was going to be open to other players just two weeks before the start of the first game.” “Other teams had already been practicing with their full roaster of players from almost two months before.” However, despite the short notice they were able to put together a strong group made up of die-hard Tuff E Nuff employee ballers as well as a contingent of ex semi-pro players of their own, including team captain, former semi-pro basketball MVP and member of the Belize national basketball team, Keith Acosta.
“Tuff E Nuff is no stranger to basketball,” says Black, “In fact, Tuff E Nuff has already won two inter-office championships for San Pedro.” They are the only team on the island to have done so. Whenever Tuff E Nuff is in the competition, Black says, they are “always in the fight” to take home the trophy back to the island and play hard to make San Pedro proud. Black notes that what makes him feel so confident about his current team is the fact that, as he sees it, there are no ‘weak links’ on the squad; “we have very good players at each position… any player coming off the bench is a good as the player they are substituting for… all of our players are real players… well rounded… have tons of experience.” According to Black the team is filled with players who are more than just teammates, but more like a family, who are dedicated, strong competitors, who know the game and are playing not just for the team but for San Pedro as well.
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