The USA men’s national team produced an impressive comeback during the gold-medal game of the 2017 Americas Cup against Canada at the Evangelista Mora Coliseum, to take the title, 54-50.
After tip off, the USA appeared to take control of the game, pushing out to an 11-4 lead, but with momentum from a three-pointer from Nik Goncin, the Canadians successfully challenged to tie the game 15-15 at the end of the first quarter. It remained Canada’s game in the second as they took the lead for the first time, going in to half-time up 31-24.
Canada held strong throughout the third quarter, at one stage opening up a 13-point advantage, to go in to the final ten minutes leading 44-34. The first two minutes of the fourth quarter was scoreless, but then the USA started to close the gap with a 7-0 run, before they managed to wrestle the lead back with just under three minutes to go. Canada had no answer as the USA defence stepped up a gear, enabling them to take the quarter 20-6, and win the title.
Steve Serio top scored for USA with 22 points, 8 rebounds, and 6 assists, with Jake Williams scoring 10 points. Patrick Anderson had figures of 23 points and 11 rebounds for Canada, whilst Nik Goncin hit 11 points and 10 rebounds.
Bronze Medal Game
The bronze-medal game was also an exhilarating match as Argentina and Brazil battled it out into overtime. In a rollercoaster of a game, Argentina took the early initiative in the first half, and although pushing out to nine point lead, they could not shake the Brazilians who kept to the tails of Argentina, making it a five point game, 27-32, at the half-time break.
Brazil continued to have the momentum in the third, and a number of fouls and turnovers from Argentina allowed Brazil to take the lead for the first time in the game to hold a four point advantage going in to the fourth.
Brazil pushed out to an eight point lead with six and a half minutes left in the fourth quarter, but Argentina came back to take a three point lead with under two minutes on the clock. A huge three point shot from Natanael Da Silva squared the game and sent it to overtime, 55-55.
Argentina started the brighter in overtime meaning Brazil had to play catch-up and send them to the free-throw line. Argentina converted from the line though and finished the game off to win 68-57 and take home bronze.
Argentina’s captain Adolfo Berdun led by example with 30 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists, alongside a double double from Adrian Jesus Perez. Brazil’s Leandro De Miranda had a double double of 13 points and 11 rebounds, with Gelson Da Silva also getting a double double of 10 points and 12 rebounds.
In the 5th/6th play-off between Puerto Rico and Mexico, the Mexicans looked in control from the beginning outscoring the Puerto Rican’s 17-5 in the first quarter and 25-13 in the second quarter. A better performance from Puerto Rico after break saw them win the second half by nine points (16-12; 17-12), however this was not enough to overcome the deficit at half-time with Mexico taking a 66-51 win to finish the Americas Cup in fifth place.
Three players hit double figures for Puerto Rico, Michael A. Thompkins, Carlos Martinez, Carlos Ocasio with 18, 13 and 11 points respectively. Salvador Sandoval and Luis Alfonso Cristen Barba joint top scored for Mexico with 14 points each.
Hosts Colombia took on Venezuela in the 7th/8th play-off game. Colombia were slow to the start and Venezuela took the first quarter, 14-8. However Colombia, through David Evjen and Jose Leep, came back at the beginning of the second to take the lead as they won that quarter 17-10. They held the momentum in the second half with quarter scores of 20-14 and 17-10 to finish with a win in front of their home crowd and take 7th place, 62-48.
Venezuela’s Nelson Artigas led the scoring for the game with a high of 16 points, closely followed by his teammate Nelson Solorzano with 14 points and 11 rebounds. For Colombia, Johan Vargas and Hector Garces top scored with 12 points apiece.
Americas Cup 2017 Final Standings
- Puerto Rico
- Costa Rica
Men’s MVP for the Tournament: Patrick Anderson (CAN)
Image Courtesy of Inspire Colombia