Day 5: Brazil wins gold also in men
tournament - Jul. 29, 2007 Brazil can
celebrate double gold in basketball as they won both men and women tournaments.
In the final game of men tournament Brazil dfid not have any problems with
Puerto Rico, getting 21-points victory (86-65). Host team with great support of
local fans controlled the entire game. They took early lead 17-5 and at the end
of first quarter, they were already 17 points ahead. They kept the lead and even
increased it in the last quarter. Puerto Rican team seemed to give up on trying
to catch with Brazilian players. Brazil was lead by Joao Paulo Batista (20),
Marcelinho Machado (17) and Marcus Vinicius (14). The best for Puerto Rico were
Angelo Reyes (14) and Joel Martin Jones (12).
Brazil won everything they could
in both men and women tournament.
Puerto Rico achieved probably all they wanted. The most important game for them
was the semifinal victory over Argentina after which they advanced to the
In the bronze medal game Uruguay upset Argentina in overtime 99-93. Uruguay was
in a raising mode after they won the game against Panama, while Argentina was on
aloosing track after they were defeated first by USA and then lost in the semis
to Puerto Rico. It was also a sweat revenge for 2-points loss in the group
eliminations. This time the game looked similar to the first one, where
Argentina took the lead and tried to maintain it thru the whole game. But
Uruguay stayed always very close. The breaking point was the end of third
quarter, when Uruguay speed up and came as close as just 1 point before the
beginning of last period. Argentina managed to increase their lead slightly and
just 2 minutes before the end of the game they had a comfortable 6-points lead.
Then the real horror started. Many fouls, changes and desperate game from both
teams. And here what happened: 3 seconds before the end of the game Argentina
was still 3 points ahead. They focused on not allowing Uruguay players to hit
3-pointer. Uruguay captain Nociolas Mazzarino was fouled and got free throws. It
would be unrealistic for Uruguay to steal the ball from Argentina and hit
another shot in just 3 seconds. Uruguay coach Alberto Espasaddin immediately put
on the court power forward Sebastian Izaguirre to increase the chances to
rebound the ball. The option was to get 1 point, then miss another shot, rebound
the ball and get the basket. Nice theory, which makes sense, but practically
never works. But not tonight. It was exactly what happened. Mazzarino hits one
shot, misses another, Izaguirre rebounds the ball and ties the game with easy
2-pointer. Argentina was devastated. And usually in such cases the overtime
belongs to the team, which tied the game in last seconds. So that period belong
to Urguya, which allowed Argentina to score first basket, but then took lead and
only increased it till the overtime was over, ending the game 99-93. The top
scorers for Uruguay were Fernando Martinez (24), Esteban Batista (16 and
impressive 17 rebounds), and Leandro Garcia Morales (15). Argentina was lead by
Diego Logrippo (24) and Facundo Sucatzky (14).
In the meaningless 5th position game, USA edged Panama 77-74. The top players
for USA were Derrick Low (16), Shane Foster and Dewayne White, both with 14. On
the loosing side Danilo Pinnock and Dionisio Gomez scored 17 points each.
The biggest upset of this year edition is performance of North American teams.
USA was rulled out from the medal fight when they lost two first games. Then
despite they improved their game (against lower ranked teams), it was way too
late to be ranked higher.
Canada had probably the worst performance ever losing everything they could
till the last game against Ivory Coast 69-60 where they avoided last place in
the tournament. It's the only country among all Panamerican Games participants,
which does not have it's own pro or even semi-pro league. So it's not a surprise
that Canadian basketball is taken out of basketball map. Basketball Canada was
not even able to organize this year edition of World Championships U19, probably
the last hope of bringing any serious basketball events to the country. What a
Day 4: Brazil will face Puerto Rico in
the final - Jul. 28, 2007 We already
know the finalsists of the Panamerican Games 2007. Host Brazil will face Puerto
Rico in a grand final tomorrow evening.
In the semifinals Brazil had easy game against Uruguay 85-73, while Puerto Rico
upset Argentina 89-80. Brazil was lead by duo Valter Silva (22 points) and
Murilo Da Rosa (20). The top player for Uruguay was again their captain
Mazzarino (181-G-75, agency:
Group), who had 19 points. In the other semifinal game where Puerto Rico
shocked Argentina, the winning team tokok the lead at the very beginning and
kept it for the rest of the game. Despite Argentina tried to storm Puerto Rican
basket in the last minutes, it was way too late to reverse the result. Puerto
Rican top scorers were their captain
Juan Barea (181-G-84, agency:
Sports Management, college:
(25 points and 9 assists),
Lee (200-F-77, agency:
Global Sports, college:
Long Beach St.)
Alejandro Carmona (194-G/F-83, agency:
Sports) (13) and Angelo Reyes (12 points and 12 assists). Ramon Gonzalez was
the top player in Argentina with 23 points and 10 rebounds.
Brazilians look like the main favorite in the final game as they will be
heavily supported by local fans. However Puerto Rico can be really
Argentina lost last two games and very badly needs to secure bronze against
Uruguay. Argentina is still higher ranked and seems having a better team.
However they last two loses, especially the one against weak U.S. team do not
leave too high expectations.
In the 5-8 places qualifications Canada keep loosing everything they can, while
this time they were edged by 1 point (68-67) by Panama. Panama will face USA in
the 5th place game. USA beat Virgin Islands 84-68. Despite Americans lost to
Panama in the Preliminaries, they are on the raising mode and are considered
favorites in the 5th place game. Everything can happen in the game between
Virgin Islands and Canada. Canada has nothing to lose after they were not able
to win any game so far, including Preliminary Round loss to Virgin Islands.
Day 3: Semifinals already known,
Uruguay makes it in the last game - Jul. 27, 2007 There was
only one question in day 3 as 3 out of 4 semifinal teams were already known. The
only interesting game was between Uruguay and Panama, where the winner gets the
chance to play for the medal. Uruguay team won the game 76-68 and will face
Brazil in the semis. The other pair is Argentina - Puerto Rico. Shame that no
North American team made it to the semifinals.
In Group A there was fight for the top position (and better chances in the
semis) between Puerto Rico and host Brazil. The game was very tough and
Brazilians managed to get small victory by 3 points (97-94). Marcelo Machado was
the top scorer for the winners with 25 points. He was helped by Marcus Vinicius
(19) and Joao Paulo Batista (14). Puerto Rico's top player was again point guard
Jose Juan Barea, who had 18 points and 10 assists. Canada lost so far everything
they could as they were today defeated by Virgin Islands 74-67. Virgin Islands
was lead by Carl Krauser and Cuthbert Victor with 20 and 18 points respectively.
Jermaine Anderson (17) and Rans Brempong (11) were was best Canadian players.
The toughest game of the day took place in Group B. The winner of game between
Uruguay and Panama would make it to the finals. Uruguayan team was better,
despite Panamanian players were equal opponent for first half of the game.
Uruguay managed to get bigger lead in the third quarter and carry it till the
end. The hero of the evening was Uruguay captain
Mazzarino (181-G-75, agency:
Group) (27), who was helped by Esteban Batista (20) and Martin Osimani (11).
Four Panamanian players got double figures, while Jose Lloreda was the highest
scorer with 18 points.
In other game in Group B, leader Argentina made a very nice gesture to
depressed U.S. team, allowing them to get finally their first victory. The game
was practically for nothing as Argentina already won the group, while USA ended
at the last position. Just for the record: Argentina was lead by Roman Gonzalez,
who had 21 points and 7 rebounds, while best U.S. player was Dewayne White with
22 points and 7 rebounds.
Day 3 Results:
U.S. Virgin Islands - Canada
Brazil - Puerto Rico
Argentina - USA
Uruguay - Panama
Round 2: Puerto Rico, Argentina and
host Brazil still undefeated - Jul. 26, 2007
only 3 teams still undefeated: Puerto Rico, Argentina and host team Brazil.
In Group A there is a clear split into two top teams which already advanced to
the semifinals: Brazil and Puerto Rico, and two bottom ones (Canada and U.S.
Virgin Islands). This time Brazil got easy game against Canada crushing them by
da Rosa (207-C-83) lead host team with 24 points and 7 rebounds, while
Marcus Vinicius and Joao Batista helped with 14 and 12 points respectively. Only
a son of former Canadian international (Leo) Andy Rautind scored double figures
for Canada getting 16 points. Puerto Rico beat U.S. Virgin Islands 62-57 in much
closer game. Alejandro Carmona lead Puerto Rico with 23 points and Peter John
Ramos helped with double-double of 11 points and 10 rebounds. Angelo Reyes
netted just 9 points, but grabbed 12 rebounds for the winners. Cuthbert Victor
was the top player at losing side with 13 points and the same number of
rebounds. After tomorrow's game there will be only one undefeated team when
Brazil faces Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands would take 3rd place battle against
In Group B USA lost their second game, this time to Panama and they are at the
bottom of their group. Argentina is the only undefeated team in Group B after
they edged Uruguay 71-69. Diego Garcia (16) and Luis Cequeira (13) were top
players for Argentina and Uruguay's top scorer was Leandro Garcia with 21
points. It seems that Latin teams broke the bareer of USA and now Panama show
real class to future NBA stars, beating them easily 75-67. Panama was lead by
Danilo Pinnock (23), Jair Peralta and Dionisio Gomez (11 points each), while the
best for U.S. were Roy Hibbert (19) and Drew Neitzel (15). Tomorrow day in Group
B should not be a big surprise. USA will face much stronger Argentina in the
game for ...nothing. Argentina already won the group and USA will play for 5-8
places anyway. However the game between Panama and Uruguay will be a real treat.
The winner will take a second place in the group and make it to the semifinals.
Day 2 games: Group A:
Puerto Rico - U.S. Virgin Islands
Brazil - Canada
98-63 Group B:
Argentina - Uruguay
USA - Panama
PanAmerican Games welcome men's
basketball - Jul. 26, 2007
Puerto Rico - Canada 82:63
Puerto Rican National team cruised past Canada in the opening game of the
PanAmerican Games in Group A. The renowned basketball nation Puerto Rico had a
flying start to the competition. They dismantle Canadian team 82:63 to go top in
Puerto Rico established a narrow 16:15 lead after the first frame. The gap grew
deeper in the second when Canadian defence struggled to maintain
Juan Barea (181-G-84, agency:
Sports Management, college:
Purto Rico ensured a 60:45 advantage after three quarters and entered the final
frame confidently. Canada had little chances to cut the deficit throughout the
final 10 minutes and had to surrender in the first game of the tournament. Jose
Juan Barea nailed 21 points and grabbed 5 boards for Puerto Rico. Joel Gomez
added 13 points for the winners. Canada were paced by 13 points from
Jermaine Anderson (185-G-83) chipped in 12 points in a loss. Puerto Rico
outrebounded their opponents 49:33 and limited them to just 32% from the field.
Puerto Rico will next face Virgin Islands today. Canada will try to improve
against Brazil later tonight.
Brazil - Virgin Islands 86:81
Brazil got to a winning start of the PanAmerican basketball tournament. A
perfect team effort helped Brazil to edge Virgin Islands 86:81. Brazil dominated
the game early on and drove to a 32:21 lead after the opening frame. Virgin
Islands cut the deficit to 8 points at halftime 43:51. But Virgin Islands team
slowly found their rhythm and came as close as 5 points after three quarters
62:67. However Brazil's offense delivered at the right time to secure a victory.
da Rosa (207-C-83) and Joao Batista scored 17 points apiece and combined 20
rebounds to lead Brazil. Marcelo Muertas added 16 points for the winners. Virgin
Islands replied with game-high 21 points from
Cuthbert Victor (196-G-83, college:
Kevin Sheppard (182-G-79, agency:
Global Sports, college:
produced 12 points apiece in a losing effort.
Brazil had an edge under the rims outrebounding Virgin Islands 35:29. Brazil
also converted solid 50% from the field. Both teams committed 17 turnovers.
Brazil will face Canada in today's action. Virgin Islands will take on Purto
Argentina - Panama 76:71
Argentinean team started their PanAmerican Games campaign with a narrow win over
Panama. They needed a specacular fourth frame comeback attempt to succeed in
this one. Panama had a better start to the game as they led 19:8 after the
opening frame. Argentina managed to cut the deficit a bit in the second quarter
and went into the dressing room trailing by 4 points 25:29. Panama surged ahead
at the start of the thrid quarter but Argentina withstood the punch and kept it
at a striking distance. They tied the scoreline midway through the final stanza
and rushed ahead in the late seconds to emerge as winners. Diego
Garcia (184-G-75) led Argentina with 18 points and 4 steals.
Bulfoni (192-G-76) added 15 points in a win. Panama responded with 23 points
and 18 rebounds from
Lloreda (203-F/C-80, agency:
Sports Agency, college:
Peralta (178-G-76, college:
had 11 points each in a defeat.
Panama outrebounded Argentina 43:33 and shot better from the field converting
42% comparing to 38% from Argentinean players. At the same time Panamanian
players committed 27 turnovers and struggled to contain Argentinean long range
artillery as they knocked down 10 three pointers.
Argentina will next take on the biggest news makers of the first day of
competition Uruguay. Panama sees USA later tonight.
USA - Uruguay 72:81
Uruguay surprised the USA team in the first round of PanAmerican basketball
competition. Grabbing the lead midway through the third quarter Uruguay never
allowed United States to come within a striking distance and celebrated the
first win at the tournament.
Batista (208-F/C-83) topscored for Uruguay with 25 points and 7 rebounds.
Mazzarino (181-G-75, agency:
Group) provided another 21 points for Latin American team. Dewayne White and
Leunen (206-F-85) scored 14 points apiece to pace the USA.
Scottie Reynolds (183-G-87) added 10 points in a loss.
USA dominated the boards 40:29, but struggled offensively. They committed 22
turnovers and shot 41% from the field, while Uruguay converted 51%.
USA will now face Panama, Uruguay takes on Argentina today.
Crisis in U.S. men basketball - USA
loses to Uruguay in Panamerican Games opener - Jul. 25, 2007
surprise of day 1 of Panamerican Games is Uruguay victory over tournament
favorite - U.S. team 81-72. It only confirms that the rest of the World already
catch up with USA in basketball. The U.S. team does not have professional
players. But it's a combination of college top stars, who will end in 2-3 years
in the NBA. That was a good solution for many years as U.S. men team was able to
dominate Panamerican Games for a long time. It ended few years ago. USA maybe
did not decrease the level, but everyone around catch up with them. Basketball -
the sport dominated for decades by USA finally become the global one. Just look
shortly at the history. Few years ago there was World Club Championships
sponsored by McDonalds. There was an event of top clubs (not national teams)
from around the World, which played in one place. It was another opportunity for
U.S. to prove their World dominance. They sent each time one of the weakest NBA
teams, and they managed to win the tournament. But not for long... The gap
decreased from year to year and finally NBA team needed overtime to win it. Then
...the tournament stopped and was never played again. Let's look at the U.S.
national team. Not too many people remember time when few decades ago USA sent
their top college team to international championships and they were able to win
everything. Again, not for too long... Then they decided to include also
professional players and real Dream Team era started. There is no question that
first version of Dream Team (with stars like Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan and
Charles Barkley) won all they wanted showing real class. Not for long... Next
versions of Dream Team did not get as much respect as the first one. U.S.
national team managed to get the victories, but similarly like in McDonald's
Club Championships, the gap was shrinking very fast. Finally they started losing
in both Olympic Games and World Championships. So what was the reason? Media
tried hardly to prove the point of dominancy of U.S. basketball. They blamed too
short preparation time, international rules, etc. But the loses become slowly a
very common call for U.S. teams. First they were beaten by strong teams like
Yugoslavia, Lithuania, Argentina and ...Puerto Rico. Now even Uruguay (with high
respect to their attitude) can add to their records a vistory over U.S. team.
Just recently they lost in World Championships U19 to Serbia. So together with
their loss to Uruguay, the year started very bad for U.S. men national team. NBA
is unquestionably the strongest league in the World and no one should have any
doubt about it. But it's more and more common opinion that many Euroleague top
teams can play successfully in the NBA. And worth to mention something else: do
you remember the last final game of currently ended NBA season, where Spurs beat
Cavaliers? 75% of the points for winning team was scored by ...non-U.S. born
players (Duncan, Parket, Ginobili). Maybe it's a time for the NBA to look around
for some more international help... Of course many of you can tell: let's wait
for the Tournament of the Americas in Las Vegas, where pro players will
represent U.S. Right, we should definitely look forward to it. But do not be
surprised when U.S. team can get another "accident" at that tournament. They
have a lot to prove this year.
Panamerican Games Day 1 results:
Canada - Puerto Rico
Brazil - U.S. Virgin Islands
Argentina - Panama
USA - Uruguay
Puerto Rico dominates Canada - Jul. 25,
Puerto Rico - Canada 82-63
Puerto Rico dominates Canada 82-63. Puerto Rico:Jose
Juan Barea (181-G-84, college:
led the Pureto Rican team with 21pts,
Jones (196-G/F-81, college:
Sanchez (212-C-87) 11pts Canada:Andy
Rautins (196-G-86) 13pts
Puerto Rico won the first quarter of the game 16-15 and halftime: 42-30
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