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Dominican trio of Liz, Mendoza and Montero lethal against Bahamas
NASSAU (FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019) — In the first two quarters, Bahamas faced a Dominican Republic that came undefeated to the second window of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 Qualifiers. However, the Víctor Liz, Rigoberto Mendoza and Luis Montero trio made sure to eliminate any Bahamian risk to keep their immaculate record in the Americas Qualifiers.
After an extremely equal first half, the Dominican Republic tightened at both sides of the court in the third quarter, took off and did not look back until they comfortable defeated Bahamas 96-63 in the match that took place in the local city of Nassau.
The Antillean squad are now entrenched as Group D leaders with a 3-0 record, while The Bahamas fall into a dangerous 0-3. On Sunday at Nassau, Dominican Republic will move to follow their perfect path when they face the United States Virgin Islands (1-2). Meanwhile, The Bahamas will seek their first victory against a Canada team (2-1) that do not wish to lag behind the Dominicans.
The Dominican Republic won the first half only by a point, 35-34, but a solid 15-5 advance at the beginning of the third quarter gave them a double-digit advantage, 50-39 in the middle of the segment, and did not spare any chances for the locals.
Liz led the Dominican offensive with 19 points and three steals, followed by Rigoberto Mendoza's 18 points and six steals. In his first official game with the side, Montero performed excellently with 17 points, eight rebounds and two steals. The DR shone brightly together, with 45 rebounds, 22 assists and 17 steals. Substitutes also did their job well done and dominated their Bahamian counterparts 44-31.
The Dominican domain in the second half was overwhelming, to the point that they could be in the lead by 36 points, 96-60 in the game's final minute.
“In the second half we came out with aggressiveness, we adjusted the mistakes we were making and studied their moves to counter attack their zone and man to man they had against us," Rigoberto Mendoza (DOM)
For the defeated team, Michael Carey and Jaraun Burrows were the most outstanding, with 11 points each. Burrows made five assists for the team that could not manage to keep control, losing the ball 23 times, mostly because of the 17 steals by the Dominican defense.
The first 20 minutes were close. During this time, neither team allowed too many liberties to the other one and The Bahamas only were able to take off for a maximum of six points, while the greatest advantage the Dominicans enjoyed was by two points.
The first half of the game was more localized in the paint, with Bahamas dominating 20-16 in points, 27-19 in defensive rebounds, and 11-7 for the offensive. The Dominican Republic answered with nine steals; and with a lay-up by Liz, they left for the locker rooms with the minimum advantage, 35-34.
The second half was a completely different story.