Mexico defeated Puerto Rico 74-60 as the hosts won the 2014 Centrobasket Championships in Nayarit to cap an undefeated competition. The home nation went 6-0 through the tournament and looked formidable throughout, not least when easing past Puerto Rico in the second half of a testing final.
The third and fourth positions were also tied up as dethroned champions the Dominican Republic downed Cuba 75-66.
Mexico vs. Puerto Rico, 74-60
Mexico has looked good throughout their home tournament having cruised through the competition and looking especially strong in the semis. The Mexicans’ unblemished record was maintained in the final game as they defeated Puerto Rico to lift the title. It was the third time Mexico has won the Centrobasket tournament, while the success also deprived Puerto Rico of an 11th success, but the most successful nation in the history of the tournament will be back next time.
Mexico started the game as the better team, although Puerto Rico kept tight in defence to prevent the deficit being too high. After 10 minutes and with the first break the home team held a slender 16-14 advantage. That lead was crushed by an impressive second frame by the visitors, with Puerto Rico unleashing 21 points while looking miserly in defence, giving Mexico just eleven points through the stanza (27-35 at halftime). Mexico replied in the third quarter with their own impressive spell as the buckets rained in for the hosts to win minutes 20 to 30 and hold a 52-48 lead at the last intermission. Another explosive finale from Mexico meant that the players could celebrate tournament success in front of their own fans.
Gustavo Ayon has impressed for the winners throughout this year’s competition and was the MVP here as he collected a 16 points/16 rebounds double-double. Francisco Cruz topped the scoring for Mexico with 16 points, while Roman Martinez took 14 points.
Michael Rosario led the losing effort with 14 points, with Roman Clemente scored 13 points for Puerto Rico.