|The Tigersharks made history by winning the 2007 semi-pro
basketball championship against the resilient Belize Bank Bulldogs.
The team earned a $10,000 cheque courtesy of the league!|
|That's Judson Stubbs who planted his feet to draw the
offensive foul against Ronnel Lennon.|
|Greg Rudon was named Most Valuable Player (MVP), 2007.|
|Fans rejoice as the Tigersharks bring home the gold for San Pedro!|
For the first time in San Pedro sports history, the TigerSharks brought home the semi-pro championship title to the island by clinching their historic championship berth with an emphatic 79-68 win over the Belize Bank Bulldogs at the hardwood of the Belize Civic Center on Friday night. The game was a decisive game three in the best of three championship series and the winner would take it all. The Sun was on hand to lend the support and of course capture all the great action which would result in a historic win for the TigerSharks, here’s how it went down.
Both clubs had their supporters cheering them on, a bunch of San Pedro fans tagged along which made for a good audience. At tip off, the TigerSharks wasted no time to bank in the first couple shots and an early lead holding the Bulldogs to only a 9 point quarter, 21-9. In the second, the bulldogs got some much needed input from Tyrone “Joka” Edwards and league MVP Judson Stubbs. However, the TigerSharks managed to finish the half with a monster jam from Damien Staples who would strike for seventeen points. Heading into intermission, the islanders held a 5 point cushion, 37-32.
In the third, the gears shifted and the Bulldogs went on an aggressive run to take over the game. With the unmatched timing of Darwin “Puppy” Leslie, the Bulldogs who were dominating on the glass were in possession of a two point lead at the end of the third, 57-55. The Bulldogs’ prowess in the opening minutes of the fourth would be cut short after the Sharks came out of their slumber. The rookie Greg “Chippy” Rudon bit back at the Bulldogs pumping three back to back treys from long range. With the magnificent “red-hot” shooting from Rudon, the Sharks smelled “blood” in the air, enough to fuel a comeback and take over the game. In the closing minutes, it was evident that the Bulldogs’ chances at winning the championship were torn to shreds by the mighty grips of the TigerSharks. The Belize Bank Bulldogs were stunned and retired to the fact that they had been defeated in their home court nonetheless. It was disappointing for the Belize City fans to say the least. At the sounds of the final buzzer, the final score was 79-68. Pandemonium broke out on the bleachers as the San Pedro fans rushed to the center of the court and celebrated with the TigerSharks their triumphant victory and claimed what was rightfully theirs – the 2007 semi-pro basketball championship title.
It is the first time in sport history that a San Pedro team has won a “semi-pro” title in any sport. The Bulldogs’ fell short of their bench presence, nevertheless they averaged 59% from the free throw line and 28% from the field; whilst the TigerSharks averaged 50% from the charity line and 45% from the field. For the Bulldogs, Judson Stubbs went on to finish with 15 points, 6 rebounds whilst Tyrone “Joka” Edwards added 13 points and Darwin Leslie finished with 11 points and 4 rebounds. Over in the TigerSharks front, former NCAA player Damion Staples made his presence felt on the boards, Damion would finish with a double-double 17 points, 5 assists and 20 rebounds. And although this game will go down in the history books as unforgettable and packed with unbelievably great plays, everyone would agree that Greg “Chippy “ Rudon’s 27 points, 3 assists and 6 rebounds in the finals have earned him the status of Most Valuable Player. Rudon who was in contention for the “rookie of the year” award in the regular season deserved his MVP trophy as he played like true champion. Apart from the rights of being named “kings of the court”, the TigerSharks walked away with a $10,000 check courtesy of the Belize Basketball Association (BBA).
Congratulations to the TigerSharks for an impressive season and for bringing home the championship title to San Pedro. Kudos to Coach Gary Isaacson and Manager/Assistant Coach Rico Black for their excellence. Viva TigerSharks, let’s do it again next year!!