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Orange Walk Running Rebels withdraw from Belize Elite Basketball League; BEBL accept withdrawal

Posted: Friday, March 15, 2024. 11:19 am CST.

Photo Credit: Orange Walk Running Rebels

By Rubén Morales Iglesias:

In a letter dated March 13, the Orange Walk Running Rebels organization informed the Belize Elite Basketball League (BEBL) that they were withdrawing from the BEBL.

“Regrettable we will not be able to continue participating in the 2024 BEBL tournament as it has become excruciating operating, organizing and competing under the present structure and leadership,” the Running Rebels said on Monday in a social media post through which they informed their fans, sponsors, and players. The withdrawal letter the club sent to BEBL Commissioner Glenn Gill was included in the social media post.

“We know the news is disappointing, but unless we get the change we had believed in and hope for, elite basketball has not and will not change.”

The Rebels letter closed saying that they don’t see the BEBL going on the right track, that they see no positive future, and called on the Commissioner Glen Gill to resign or they won’t continue.

Commissioner Gill said he immediately called the team owners and at a subsequent meeting on Thursday asked them to do a confidence vote on him. The team owners, he ²said, voted unanimously in his favour.

The OW Running Rebels withdrawal was accepted.

Meanwhile, the OW Running Rebels said they would continue working “with the youths of Belize and prepare for the 2025 season if there is a drastic shift towards sustainability and fair play.”

“It was the Rebels sole belief that for once in Belize’s history a sporting discipline could unite for one goal, which is sustainability,” Orange Walk Running Rebels Team Owner Troy Gabb Sr. wrote to Gill.

“The initial plan was for all the team’s resources such as sponsor, contributions, gate receipts, to be pooled together and used to support the expenses of the tournament and team’s expenses. Under your leadership, you did not ensure the team owners complied and as a results [sic] none of the team’s organizations complied with that commitment except the Rebels organization.

The Rebels also said the team didn’t register as Limited Liability companies as had been agreed.

The Rebels also complained about players’ contracts, the administration of the BEBL’s WhatsApp owners group from which they have been blocked, fair treatment of players making particular reference to Jeremiah Toney who they said is being wrongly treated along with the Rebels themselves, and about the minutes of meetings, among other matters.

Gill said the Toney situation was exacerbated by the Running Rebels playing him against Western Ballaz last week after they were advised they couldn’t field him. Because of that, Gill said, the Rebels were considered to have forfeited the game.

Additionally, Gill said the Rebels didn’t meet the $50,000 buy-in deadline on Thursday before their sixth game on Friday. By then the Rebels had already sent the withdrawal letter to the BEBL. Gill said they also owed the BEBL monies from the previous season plus the forfeiture penalty and fees to be paid for referees and to the Western Ballaz.

 

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