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VEN2013 - Mexico is Americas Champion
9/11/2013

Caracas, Venezuela - The team led by Sergio Valdeolmillos defeated Puerto Rico, 91-89, to become the Champion of the 2013 FIBA Americas Championship. Gustavo Ayon was the best player for Mexico in the game and he was selected as the Most Valuable Player of the Championship.

The game started very dynamic, both teams ran the floor well and scored without difficulty. The team led by Sergio Valdeolmillos bet on the inner game with Mata and Ayon, and the Caribbean team, damaged under the same pathway, with Balkman in the paint. Mexico was more effective on offensive combinations and with a burst of 7-0 (Mata 4 and Harris 3) went ahead 13-6. Puerto Rico responded with the conversions of Barea and Balkman to narrow the scoreboard (13-11). Puerto Rico played on offense individually, unlike the Mexican team that had good teamwork. At the end of the quarter, the Mexico dominated, after a 6-0 run, 26-18.

Puerto Rico adjusted in the second quarter, and with the desire to take the gold medal, began to control the pace of the game. The Caribbean team improved his defense, forcing Mexico to take off balance shots that generated counter fast breaks that generated a 10-0 run, to tie the game at 28 points. Half-way through the fourth, both Mexico and Puerto Rico exploited the perimeter shooting and from then on it was an exchange of tripples. With 3 minutes left, Mexico 's coach was ejected by reffere Reynaldo Mercedes and the assistant Ramon Diaz had to take over the coaching duties. Nevertheless, Mexico continued on the same page and were accurate from mild distance, to take an advantage of 3 points (48-45).

Both teams had inaccuracies on both sides on the third period, both Mexico and Puerto Rico rushed in attack and failed to take good shots. Balkman and Arroyo put the Caribbean team up on the scoreboard (57-59), but the Mexican team responded with a three-pointer from the perimeter. The team led by Francisco Olmos grew with the passing of the minutes and began to control the actions of the opponent, who had 10 losses in the fourth. A burst of 7 points in a row (Barea 3, Arroyo 2 and Santiago 2) allowed them to come forward, 69-63.

Mexico came in stronger in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter. Harris scored 7 straight points that allowed Mexico to take the lead (73-71). But Galindo hurt with a triple and Puerto Rico again came forward. It was a level playing field, where none of the two teams drew too much advantage. Paul Stoll nailed a triple to put the match in his teams favor, although the Caribbean team narrowed the Mexican advantage to 1 point. In the last minutes of the quarter, the individual qualities of the players prevailed, Mexican Ayon was a tower in the inner game and Puerto Ricans, Arroyo and Barea from the distance. However, the excitement began to take over, with 8 seconds remaining, Arroyo committed a turnover. Mexico could not take advantage of that situation, but neither did Galindo, who missed a three-pointer to tie the game, at the end Mexico took the victory, 91-89.

For Mexico, Gustavo Ayon stood out with 20 points and 16 rebounds. For Puerto Rico, Carlos Arroyo had 23 conversions and Jose Juan Barea had 20 points.

FIBA Americas

 

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