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The International Masters Tour de Santino Races through Mountain Pine Ridge

May 22, 2023

The International Masters Tour de Santino Races through Mountain Pine Ridge

Goodnight and welcome to another edition of Sports Monday, I am Paul Lopez.  “Winning isn’t everything, but wanting to win is”. That’s a quote from Vincent Lombardi an American football coach. Over the weekend, athletes competed across various disciplines to do just that, win. We kick off tonight’s coverage with some cycling action. The International Masters Tour de Santino was held on Saturday and Sunday. On Saturday, ninety riders took on the grueling hills of Mountain Pine Ridge. Those hills had many top cyclists pushing beyond their limitations for thirty-eight miles.

Here is a quick recap. The starting whistle is blown and the ninety riders are off from the busman hill just outside of Georgeville. SPD’s Bob Gabourel and Mexican rider for Santino’s Manuel Serrano are leading the race, heading towards the halfway point at the end of the paved road in Mountain Pine Ridge. The lead is shared between the two riders as they approach this hill. Serrano gets out of his saddle on the incline and creates a gap between himself and Gabourel. At the halfway point, Serrano maintains his lead with Gabourel on his tail. Serrano finished the race approximately five minutes ahead of Bob Gabourel and six minutes ahead of the third place rider. Serrano’s experience in hilly terrains was on full display and Belizean Bob Gabourel rose to the challenge.

On day two, the second leg of the race began at Old Belize. The fifty-mile race took cyclists to Democracia Village and back to Old Belize. Approaching mile twenty-nine, heading to the halfway point, it’s day one’s second place winner, Bob Gabourel with an attack to the front of race. He is chased by three other riders, as they sprint for a station prize at the mile twenty-nine mile post. Heading back to Belize City at mile twenty-seven, it is Manuel Serrano and Bob Gabourel in front, maintaining an extended gap between the main peloton. Serrano and Gabourel still had their lead in Hattieville. By this time, it was determined that these men would be the top two finishers of the day and the entire tour. Just under a mile left to the finish line, Serrano gets off his seat and sprints off ahead of a fatigued Gabourel, all the way to the finish line.

Manuel Serrano

Manuel Serrano, First Place, Tour de Santino

“I am really happy to be coming here. This is my first time in Belize and I really like the country, the4 people. All the guys here in Belize received us like family. I didn’t know what to expect what I was coming here for my first race. I have raced in Europe, the U.S., many places in South America and it think here is a place where all the riders cheer you up, everyone gives you water, it doesn’t matter if it is your rival or friend. Yesterday I was really impressed with the hills, I really loved the hills. I didn’t expect there was going to be hills in Belize; I think it was going to be flats in Merida.”

Bob Gabourel

Bob Gabourel, Second Place, Tour de Santino

“Eventually he dropped an attack with me by six miles and I was already fatigued so I said I am just going to hold on to the end and appreciate the fact that I came out here and worked hard, not only for my team, but the country of Belize. Cause, it seems like it was Mexico against Belize today. I am happy with the outcome of the race today, and the overall results. Second overall and second for the two stages.”

Santiago Castillo

Santiago Castillo, Organizer, Tour de Santino

“In this race we had forty-eight and forty-two Belizeans and it turned out beautiful. Stager one was in the mountains and in facr many Guatemalans and Mexicans that had come here before seh, me neva know unu have deh kinda hills deh. Deh tek lick deh.”

A total of forty-two Belizeans and forty-eight foreigners rode the tour. Moving on now to some basketball action, the William Dawson Sprite/Digi Youth Basketball Tournament 2023 continued on Saturday on the St. John’s Primary School’s basketball court. Seven games were played and tonight we have highlights from the fourth matchup of the day between the skilled 501 Falcons and the energetic Mahogany Heights team. Number one for Falcons, Luwani Cayetano drives into the paint, dishes out to his teammate, Antwon Warner for the layup and the foul. On the other end of the court, Mahogany Heights’ Maurice Neal with the fake, dribble, goes up for the shot and draws the fouls.  In the second half, Cayetano with the drive from the arc sees an open Raymond Gongora at the paint, and it’s an easy layup.

Isiah Martinez with the rebound passes on top to number fifteen Jerson Grinage who has a wide opening. He dishes to Clavert Webster for the sweet layup. Raymond Gongora displayed dominance in the paint for the Falcons. Here he has the mismatch against Jahmar Flowers. He spins and get off his feet for the layup. Gongora spent a lot of time at the free throw line from fouls while going to the basket. Pass to Jahmar Flowers, Jerson Grinage, no-look pass to Webster, he finds Grinage who puts up a midrange shot and misses. The ball was turned over and Gongora once again capitalizing on the other end. That match ended thirty-three to twenty-seven points in favor of 501 Falcons.

And from Basketball, we now take you to the football pitch at the Berger Field in Belize City. The Anthony Mahler U-13 Mundialito continued on Saturday with eight matchups. Here is the game between Tut Bay Yabra and the Sampson Academy boys. Five minutes into the match, Tut Bay’s Cardinal Welch intercepts the ball and fires to the goal.  The goalkeeper blocks the shot, the ball hits the top post and Zamir Gibbs is right there to clean up for the first goal of the match. Less than a minute later, Sampson Academy’s Ethan Lewis steps up and waits for the whistle. He launches a “Hail Mary” that surprisingly goes over the heads of a defender and the goal keeper to tie the game at one apiece. What a spectacular shot. Two minutes later, Asher Welch with the ball on the right wing with a little shake and bake to clear the path. He beats a second defender in the penalty box and fires. Goalkeeper deflects the ball but he is right there to gently tap it in for his team’s second goal. That game finished three goals to one in favor of Tut Bay Yabra.

The third match of the day saw Royal Fusion Girls go up against Millennium Academy. Six minutes into the match, number six for Millennium Joscelyn Zuniga with the ball. She is defended by Zoeisha Davis. Zuniga finds the opening and shoots. That is the first goal of the match. At the seven-minute mark, the young and skillful Amina Burgess gets the throw in, beats one defender. The goalkeeper looks to stop the ball, but Burgess keeps her composure as she ensures the ball goes in and hits the net. Amina Burgess scored a second goal at the tenth minute. Minutes later, number nine Clayian Swaso ties the game with this lob that slipped right through the hands of the goal keeper. That match ended in a tie at two apiece.

And finally for tonight, we want to say best of luck to the Under-twenty National Women’s Volleyball Team as they prepare to compete in the Women’s Volleyball Continental Championship and Pan American Cup in Mexico. Belize’s first game is on Tuesday night against Mexico.

Well Folks, that is all we have for you in tonight’s coverage of Sports Monday. Until next time. Remember, “Nothing is Impossible.”