It was quarter-final day in the men’s competition at the 2017 Americas Cup. Each team that booked their place in the semi-final also secured their spot at the World Championships in Hamburg next year, so it was all to play for. Brazil secured the first semi-final spot seeing off Puerto Rico 80-45. The lead exchanged hands numerous times in the first five minutes, however it was Brazil who managed to find the first daylight between the two teams as they pushed out to a five point advantage by the end of the first quarter, and a fourteen point advantage by the half-time break. The momentum stayed with Brazil in the final two quarters as they continued to outscore Puerto Rico (20-8; 17-8) to make sure of the win. Marcos Silva led the scoring for Brazil with a double double, 23 points and 11 rebounds. Puerto Rico’s Michael A. Thompkins hit 22 points.
Argentina were next through to the semi’s after defeating Mexico in a low scoring affair, 52-39. A slow start from Mexico allowed the Argentinian team to take an early lead, but a better second quarter from Mexico meant it was a five point game at the half-time break, 26-21 to Argentina. Both teams struggled to find their shooting touch throughout the game, however after Argentina won the third quarter 12-6, Mexico rallied in the fourth to claw the lead back to six. They couldn’t get any closer though, and Argentina took the victory by thirteen points. Argentina’s captain Adolfo Berdun scored 23 points for his team, whilst Mexico’s Salvador Sandoval top scored for his team with 9 points.
USA stormed to a 101 -26 win over Venezuela to progress through to the semi-final. USA’s co-captain Mike Paye opened the scoring spree by netting 10 of his 18 points in the first quarter, and assisted USA to a 26-11 advantage after the first. USA built on this lead and their defence only allowed Venezuela single digits over the next three quarters (29-5; 23-8; 23-2). Five of the USA team reached double figures – Jake Williams with 20 points, Brian Bell with 16 points, Ryan Neiswender scored 12 points and Steve Serio contributed 11 points. Manuel Aragort and Nelson Artigas were the leading scorers for Venezuela with 9 and 7 points respectively.
With an 80-53 quarter-final victory over hosts Colombia, Canada secured their place amongst the top four teams. Undefeated coming out of the group stage, the Canadians pushed hard to claim the quarter-final win. The offensive power of Patrick Anderson and Nik Goncin saw the two of them responsible for sinking 42 of Canada’s 46 points going in to half-time. With a well established 25 point lead moving in to the second half, Canada were comfortable with what they had winning the last two quarters by just 2 points. Anderson led the Canadian offense with a game-high of 33 points, while Goncin added 16 points and Ben Moronchuk put up 10 points. Colombia’s attack was led by Nelson Jaime Sanz Londono and Johan Vargas with 11 and 10 points respectively.
The women’s game of the day saw Argentina defeat Colombia 55-24 to set up a Bronze medal game against Brazil, and also claim the last spot of four qualifying places for the World Championships in Hamburg next year. Argentina’s Maria Pallares was influential in the game, top scoring with 18 points to go with 7 rebounds and 8 assists. For Colombia, captain Gladys Gomez hit a double double with 15 points and 12 rebounds.
Image Courtesy of Inspire Colombia.