Posted: Friday, December 3, 2021. 11:30 am CST.
By Rubén Morales Iglesias: The Ek’ Balam Belize Pok Ta Pok Team lead the Pok Ta Pok World Cup in Merida, Mexico, tied with the Mexico Yucatan Selection. Both teams sport a perfect 4-0 record going into Friday’s final Round One games in the Maya ballgame world championship.
The two Guatemalan teams, Micude and Ajpopab along with Mexico’s San Pedro Chimay follow with a 2-2 record. Panama #1 is sixth with 1-4 and Panama # 2 is in seventh place with a 0-5 record.
On Thursday, the defending world champs scored 191 points and only allowed 10 in all four games.
Belize started out whipping Panama’s #1 Team 60-0, then dropped Mexico champs San Pedro Chimay 23-7. In the third match, Ek’ Balam blasted the Panama #2 Team 74-2 before routing Guatemala’s Micude 34-1 in Game 4.
On Friday morning, Ek’ Balam play Guatemala’s Ajpopab in their fifth game before facing the home-standing Mexico Pok Ta Pok (Yucatan Selection) in the final Round One match.
The Belize team is already qualified for the semifinals along with Mexico Pok Ta Pok.
The organizers had hoped to finish the qualifying round on Thursday, but time ran out and the remaining games were to be left for Friday.
The top four to the semifinals will also be played on Friday. According to Ek’ Balam Belize coach Menalio Novelo Sr, in the semifinals, the top-seeded team will match up against the fourth-place team while the second-seeded will take on the third-place team.
The two semifinal winners qualify for the finals which be played on Friday as well.
Ek’ Balam Belize is the defending champion having won the Pok Ta Pok World Cup in 2017 and 2019.
The team is comprised of Captain Didier Novelo, Franz Novelo, Menalio Novelo Jr., Luigie Gonzalez, Abner Sosa Jr., Akhil Hernandez, Vicente Suchite, and Jonathan Sosa. Felicita Cantun is the Assistant Manager.
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