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VI fall in Venezuela - Sep 14, 2018

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CARACAS, VENEZUELA (FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 Americas Qualifiers) - Venezuela prevailed today against the Virgin Islands at Caracas' Parque Miranda, 87-73 in the beginning of the second phase of the FIBA Basketball World Cup Americas Qualifiers. Jhornan Zamora, with 14 points, was the best scorer for the local team. Meanwhile, for the visiting side, Georgio Milligan (187-PG-90, college: Franklin & Marshall) stood out with a double-double of 26 points and 10 rebounds.

Zamora had a great overall game with 14 points (4/5 2PTs, 2/5 3PTs), 2 rebounds and one assist; Gregory Vargas and Elder Gimenez added 12 points, Luis Bethelmy contributed 11, and Miguel Ruiz grabbed 13 rebounds. As for the Virgin Islands, apart from Milligan's contributions, Walter Hodge (183-PG-86, college: Florida) added another 20 points (10/11 in free throws).

Although David Cubillan was not in the game due to muscle sprains, Venezuela dominated the first quarter, with few long-distance shots. With 5 points by Zamora, they led the scoreboard 24-11. The Caribbean team (0/6) in 3PTs had Walter Hodge leading the way with 5 points.

The second quarter went to the visiting team, 17-15, even with defensive and offensive difficulties in the game (0/11 in 3PTs). A three-pointer by Elder Gimenez that left the locals in the advantage, 37-28. The team rotation set forward by Argentine coach Fernando Duro was important during that first period.

Dwight Lewis had to abandon the game after spraining his right ankle. Three minutes after starting the third quarter, a power outage left Parque Miranda with no lights for more than 15 minutes as the score was 40-31. The lights came back on and the local side continued to dominate, especially on the boards and, just like during the first act, they closed 25-14 with a 20-point difference (62-42).

Despite the difference in the scoreboard, the last quarter was dominated by the visiting team by making 31 points against 25. It was the Venezuelans who closed the game with an important triumph en route to qualifying for the FIBA Basketball World Cup. With a 6-1 record they continue to lead Group F, while William Colon's team is at the bottom of the table with a 2-5 registry.

The Venezuelans captured 56 rebounds (36 defensive) and executed 24 assists; they also achieved 23 of 43 2-point shots (53.49%) and 9/29 3-pointers (48.28%). The Antillean squad threw 21.43% from the three-point area (6/28) and 35.62% from the field and captured 39 rebounds (25 defensive) and executed 8 assists. From the paint, the maroon jerseys added 23/43, and the losing team did 20/45.

For the second game in this window, Venezuela will welcome the Dominican Republic at Forum de Valencia -where they will play for the first time in 27 years- and the Virgin Islands will visit Brazil at Goiania.


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