Sports Monday: Basketball, Football and Cricket

Good evening, welcome to Sports Monday.

The Premier Football League Opening Season got off over the weekend with 4 matches countrywide. Saturday night at Capital City, Belmopan hosted FC Belize at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium. FC Belize looks to open the scoreboard when Marlon Gutierrez engineers this one on one encounter with the keeper only to be denied by international Shane Orio. When Marlon Meza centers to Jerome James and he heads it in, Belmopan Bandits assume they have a 1-zip lead only to see it negated by the linesman’s flag. On this FC press, Hector Martinez’s stretch is not good enough to hit the target. Martinez then tries to make amends off the set piece but goalkeeper Orio hangs tough. You make the call; is Marlon Meza being threatened by a raised peg from goalkeeper Rodrigo Vasquez? The referee rules no. FC’s Martinez presses again and again; we can only address the call to you—did Tyrone Pandy take him down inside the box? You tell me.

In the meantime, Jordy Polanco’s shot provides the perfect opportunity for Marlon Meza to shake the cords, but it’s Rodrigo Vasquez who wins the duel at the goalmouth. When Jorge Aleman sends this ball into the danger zone, Hector Martinez is indeed lucky to get away with only a yellow card. Roberts gets his turn to open the scoreboard for the Bandits, but Rodrigo Vasquez is a tough keeper. And we must say FC’s Hector Martinez is a tough cookie because he keeps on losing. In 2nd half, Jerome James beats his man but can’t beat the keeper. At the other end, Jorge Aleman is not too off, but the scoreboard remains unmoved. In the meantime, the forward press from Elroy Smith is good but it appears David Madrid couldn’t make up his mind how to strike. Folks it was a competitive ballgame and both teams had superb goalkeepers. Thus we’ll settle for the scoreless draw.

In Belize District football news, Lake I Bombers got goals from Sergio Luna and Lloyd Jones to capture the 1st Division Championship yesterday at the MCC in a 2-1 final score. At the U-17level, the Belize District U-17 team emerged as the F.F.B. Tournament and we say congrats.

Oh yes folks, Police United made its first appearance in the CONCACAF Champions League last Tuesday against Olympia at Honduras. Olympia got 2 goals from Michael and one apiece from Javier Estupinan and Bayron Mendez for the 4-nil win at Estadio Tilinercio Carias. Our team now heads to Mexico for its date at Nuevo Hidalgo Stadium against Pachuca.

In cricket news, Game II of the 3 game series of the Belize Rural Cricket Championship move to Double Head, the home turf of Excellence who found themselves down a game to the 2-time champ, Easy Does It. Excellence batted 1st and came up with 173 runs for all out. Unfortunately, they were not ready for the bat of Andrew Banner who crushes this ball for a 6. It’s yet another 6 from Andrew Banner as the Easy Does It chase gains momentum and he would bat in a colossal 92 runs. however, the winning run comes from the bat of Julian Reynolds; it’s good for only 1 run, but it delivers the margin of victory in the 174 to 173 score and guess what, Easy Does It 3-peats. We say it’s big time.

Turning to the basketball scene, the BDBA Basketball playoffs took center stage at the BES Gym over the weekend. We caught up with the showdown between Belize City Council Dragons and Heritage Bank Friday night. For certain, Sidney Bradley came out on fire as he left the Heritage Bank defense standing going to the hoop for 2. 2 minutes later, Bradley comes back and strikes for 2 more – Bradley would score the team high of 21 pts, pulled 7 rebounds, dishes out 7 assists and received the highest efficiency rating of 33. Folks, it was a nightmarish start for Heritage Bank. In fact, this 3 point shot by the veteran Rico Black accounts for 75% of their 1st quarter points total. And the scoreboard tells that story. However, the Bank does get going in the 2nd. Felix Martinez finds Eugene Jex and the reverse gives him 2 of his 9 game pts. Andrew Ortiz also comes alive as he powers his way down low for 2 and would make it 3 from the charity stripe. Kurt Burgess then spins in the paint and he scores 2 and would finish with 14 pts and 9 rebounds.

It’s Andrew Ortiz again and this time he crushes the rim with emphasis for 2 of his game high 23 pts. And can you believe this, Mister Kurt Burgess beats the clock with this massive 3-pt delivery that ties the ballgame at the half. In the 3rd, City Council Dragons reestablished their dominance. Bradley feeds Akeem Walters and he gets the easy deuce and would finish with 16 pts and would score 6 pts in a row. Andrew Ortiz gets creative to keep his team in the ballgame and it’s entertaining for sure. Rico Black comes back with long distance dial. But here comes Michael Bradley to stem the tide and at the end of 3, the Dragons lead 56 to 49. Bradley extends the lead in the 4th with this triple. Gabriel Taylor then takes advantage of the easy look. Taylor would record the only 2 doubles of the outing with 14 pts 11 rebounds and just before the game concludes, Benedict terry adds insult to injury with the one hand slam as Belize City Council takes Heritage Bank out of the running in a 78 to 56 final score to move on.

Also moving on Friday night was Belize bank Bulldogs who edged out BWS 83 to 78 in a hotly contested ballgame. On Saturday, Belize Telemedia got past Maya Man Warriors in an 85 to 82 score and Infotel also made it to the semi-finals with a convincing 84 to 56 win over Atlantic Bank.

Jah over all, I’m James Adderley.

Channel 5