Canada and USA will meet in the final of the women’s competition at the Americas Cup 2017 after winning their final games of the preliminary round. Another dominant Canadian performance saw them win, 69-32, against Argentina maintaining their perfect record in the tournament. Canada carved out a 19-10 lead by the end of the first quarter and never allowed Argentina the chance to retaliate as they kept firm control of the game, entering half-time with a 38-18 advantage. The game continued in the same fashion after the break as Canada cruised to the win. Kady Dandeneau notched a game-high 18 points for Canada, while Arinn Young and Erica Gavel each contributed 12 points. Julieta Olmedo and Mariana Perez finished as Argentina’s joint top scorers with 10 points apiece.
USA took on Colombia in the other women’s game of the day. It was USA who ensured themselves a place in the final with a 45-23 victory over Colombia. In what was a low scoring game, Desi Miller led the scoring for USA with 14 points, Lindsey Zurbrugg and Emily Oberst scored 8 and 7 points respectively. Colombia’s Lina Medina was their leading scorer with 12 points, with Galdys Gomez scoring 9 points.
With four women’s spots up for grabs from the Americas zone for the World Championships next year, the USA, Canada, and Brazil have now booked their places. The winner of the game between Colombia and Argentina will give them a place in the Bronze medal game and also the last remaining qualifying spot at the World Championships.
In the men’s competition, Uruguay played Mexico in the first game of the day. Despite a resilient first quarter from the Uruguayans, the Mexico team proved too strong for them and comfortably secured their place in the quarter-finals with an 83-30 win, with quarter scores of 16-11, 28-6, 24-9, 15-4. Mexico finished with three players in double figures, Efrain Martinez Hernandez (17 points), Luis Eduardo Jasso Sandoval (15 points), Salvador Zavala Garcia (14 points). Uruguay’s captain Daniel Fabian Martinez led the scoring for them with 11 points.
The Canadian men’s team beat Argentina, 68-49, to ensure their spot at the top of Group A. It was another solid performance from Canada as they captured an early lead and were able to dictate the pace of the game to push to a 10-point lead by half-time. In the second half, the Canadians kept Argentina at a distance and from threatening their lead. Patrick Anderson led the Canadian offense with 22 points and 15 rebounds for a double-double, while Nik Goncin had 21 points and 9 rebounds. Argentina’s scoring was evenly spread across the board, with three players finishing with 8 points apiece.
USA men’s team narrowly escaped a defeat by Brazil to finish top of Group B. Brazil challenged USA from start to finish as USA trailed most of the game and were down after the first three quarters, 36-33. Brazil maintained its lead well into the fourth quarter, until USA co-captain Steve Serio nailed a shot with 1:08 remaining to tie the game at 44-44. Brazil couldn’t find another score and the USA sealed the win from the line to take a low scoring game, 47-44. Steve Serio led the USA with a double-double (10 points and 11 rebounds). He was joined in scoring by Jared Arambula, who finished the day with 10 points. Brazil’s Marcos Silva top scored for them with 23 points.
Despite both teams already securing their spot in the quarter-finals, the final game of the day was between Puerto Rico and Venezuela. Puerto Rico edged it by just seven points at half-time, but Venezuela won the third quarter to trail by just five points with ten minutes remaining. Puerto Rico then went on a 9-0 run at the start of the fourth giving themselves some breathing space as Venezuela struggled to find any reply. Puerto Rico eventually ran out winners 72-48. Venezuela’s Nelson Artigas hit a game high of 22 points. Michael A. Thompkins and Carlos Martinez combined with 22 points and 28 points respectively for Puerto Rico.
The men’s quarter-finals will see Canada play Colombia, Argentina face Mexico, Brazil up against Puerto Rico and USA match up with Venezuela, all looking to secure a place in the semi-finals and a ticket to the World Championships 2018.
Image Courtesy of Inspire Colombia.