Posted: Tuesday, May 28, 2019. 12:44 pm CST.
By Aaron Humes: After road teams swept the first six games of the National Elite Basketball League (NEBL) playoffs, home teams have held serve in the first three games of the championship series.
But the San Pedro Tigersharks can change that this weekend if they beat the Smart Belize Hurricanes in Game 4 at the Belize Civic Center.
After winning game 1 last weekend in San Pedro, the Tigersharks ran into a buzz-saw defense and aggressive core of young players and trailed all the way – 25-15 after one quarter; and 45-38 at halftime. San Pedro never got closer than a 66-all tie with 7:02 remaining, as the ‘Canes outscored them down the stretch 16-13 for an 82-79 win.
Akeem Watters led Hurricanes with 19 points, followed by 12 from Brian White and 11 from Shannon Fowler, who also had ten rebounds, four assists and three blocked shots. Martevius Adams led all scorers with 23 points and nine rebounds and Francis Arana contributed 20 points, but fouled out in 29 minutes.
Hurricanes brass said their adjustments worked and they executed well apart from ball movement on offense.
But back at home on Saturday, it was San Pedro who responded, leading nearly all the way as the Hurricanes never got closer than one possession in an 81-78 final.
Francis Arana led San Pedro with a career high 26 points and 4 assists; Jihad Wright and Martevious Adams contributed 19 and 13 points respectively. Shannon Fowler topped Hurricanes with 17 points and 7 rebounds.
Hurricane season starts on June 1. Will the team survive and overwhelm San Pedro for its third title? Find out on Friday night at nine p.m. at the Civic!
(Our thanks to NEBL Commissioner Karim Juan and Charleston Gladden for stats and game summaries.)
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