FIBA Americas: Puerto Rico finishes perfect R1

FIBA Americas

As the 2013 FIBA Americas Championship moves into the final day of Round 1, Group A’s leader has already been established. Puerto Rico finished their fourth and final contest of the first round with their fourth win as they defeated Jamaica 88:82. The win keeps Puerto Rico unbeaten and drops Jamaica to 0-3 and tied for last place in Group A. They will square off against Brazil Tuesday in a game that will send one team to Round 2 and one team home.

In the other two games of the day Mexico pounded the Dominican Republic, 85:61, to remain unbeaten in Group B, and Uruguay handled Brazil their third loss with a 79:73 score. The final match-ups of Round 1 on Tuesday will be Paraguay against the Dominican Republic, Canada against Uruguay, Mexico against Argentina, and Brazil against Jamaica.

Round 2 will begin on Thursday with the leader of Group A playing the fourth place team in Group B, the second place team in Group A playing the third place team in Group B, the third place team in Group A playing the second place team in Group B, and finally, the fourth place team in Group A playing the first place team in Group B.

Puerto Rico – Jamaica, 88:82
Puerto Rico assured themselves the Group A title with an 88:82 win over winless Jamaica on Monday. The Jamaicans still have an opportunity to qualify for the second round with a win over Brazil on Tuesday.

Puerto Rico got out to a big start building an 18:3 advantage and eventually taking a 25:13 margin to the horn. Their lead grew to 18 in the second behind some hot shooting and defense, with the margin at the mid-game break at 15, 48:33.

Jamaica fell further behind in the third, with the lead peaking at 19, 52:33, but they were able to turn things around and went on a massive run to cut the gap to a point, 63:62, on a 29:15 quarter.

Those in attendance got their money’s worth in the fourth quarter with a bump in the intensity of the competition. Jamaica took the lead early on and were able to build a five-point margin, 77:72. Puerto Rico took the lead back shortly after with a deuce in the paint by Carlos Arroyo to go up 81:80. From there it was Puerto Rico’s game as the Jamaicas let the pressure get to them and they committed a number of key turnovers down the stretch.

Jose Juan Barea dropped 24 for Puerto Rico, Renaldo Balkman added 20 points and 9 rebounds. Samardo Samuels scored 24 for Jamaica.

FIBA Americas

Mexico – Dominican Republic, 85:61
Mexico remained perfect in Group B with a 24-point win over the Dominican Republic. Mexico is assured a spot in Round 2, but the Dominican’s must beat Paraguay on Tuesday to advance.

The Mexican contingent built a nine-point lead in the first quarter and extended that margin by five in the second to take a 45:31 advantage into the midgame break.

The third frame was a toss-up, with the DR picking off two points from their deficit to head into the final 10 down 12 points, 60:48.

Mexico put the game on ice midway through with a big run that the Dominicans couldn’t counter.

Orlando Mednez was game-high for Mexico with 26, while Gustavo Ayon and Jorge Gutierrez each dropped 16. Jack Martinez was high-man for the Dominican Republic with 16 points and 7 rebounds.

Uruguay – Brazil, 79:73
In a battle to see which club would stay alive in the 2013 FIBA Americas Championships, Uruguay outlasted Brazil 79:73 to lock in a spot in the second round.

Uruguay got a 22P/13R double-double from Esteban Batista to lead the club into advancement.

The game was tight throughout, with numerous lead changes, but in the first half neither team could get their footing to put up a lead on their opponents. After the first quarter Uruguay held a slim 17:15 advantage and at the end of the half they were only able to add a point to the difference and took a 36:33 lead into the break.

At the start of the third Uruguay took advantage of a few Brazillian mistakes and were able to push out to a nine-point lead, 56:47. Brazil scored the final three of the frame to cut the lead to six, 57:50.

Uruguay had a rough time finding the cords at the start of the fourth and didn’t score for an extended period, giving Brazil and opportunity to slice the gap to a point 63:62. When Uruguay got things rolling again, they were able to extend the lead back to seven, which was too much for Brazil to overcome and they remained winless with a 79:73 loss.

Brazil faces a winner-takes-all match with Jamaica on Tuesday, while Uruguay will be playing for position in the group.

Batista’s 22 was game-high for Uruguay, with Leandro Garcia adding 16 to the win. Guilherme Giovannoni put together a 20P/10R double-double for the Brazillians.

Argentina – Venezuela, 77:71
Both clubs have qualified to move on to the second round, but with Argentina’s 77:71 win over Venezuela they set up a group title showdown with Mexico on Tuesday.

Argentina got 18 points and 7 assists from Facundo Campazzo, and 17 from Juan Pedro Gutierrez Lanas, while Venezuela was led by Rafael Alberto Perez Tejeda’s 14 and Donta Lamont Smith’s 11P/13R double-double.

The clubs played to a 22:21 Argentina advantage after the first quarter, but Venezuela took control in the second and jumped out to a 43:37 advantage at the half.

The margin grew slightly after the third 10 with Venezuela outscoring Argentina 16:14 in the third frame.

Argentina had a huge fourth quarter, putting up 15 on Venezuela in a 26:11 score to take the contest 77:71.

Argentina will square off against Mexico for the group title at 17:00 local time, while Venezuela has completed their four games and will have the day off.

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