Piñero scores at the death as San Lorenzo stun Sesi Franca to advance
BUENOS AIRES (Argentina) - Facundo Piñero scored at the buzzer to lift San Lorenzo to a 75-73 home triumph over Sesi Franca and into the Semi-Finals of the Basketball Champions League Americas.
With 3.6 seconds remaining in Game Three of the Quarter-Final showdown and Brazilians Franca looking to force overtime with a defensive stop, the hosts inbounded the ball to Luciano González on the right and after a couple of dribbles, he knifed his way between two defenders.
One of them, however, Lucas Dias, got his hand on the ball as González released it but it still ended up near the rim, where Facundo Piñero snatched it and scored for thrilling win.
Piñero's shot won the game at the death for San Lorenzo
San Lorenzo, who are going for a third continental title in a row after winning the DIRECTV Liga de las Americas the previous two seasons, will now face Quimsa in an all-Argentina Semi-Final. San Lorenzo will also take part in the FIBA Intercontinental Cup next month in Tenerife, Spain.
Sesi Franca almost ruined the party in Buenos Aires. They opened up a 12-point advantage in the first half, only for San Lorenzo to dig in and battle back before going in front by as many as four points.
Piñero's winning basket gave him 10 points in the contest
Even so, Franca got their noses in front again late, with Rafael Hettsheimeir's turnaround jumper putting them on top, 73-69, with just under 4:00 to go. San Lorenzo shut the Franca offense down the rest of the way.
A pair of González free-throws followed by an Agustin Caffaro jump shot knotted the contest with 1:30 remaining before Piñero's winning shot.
González had 20 points to lead San Lorenzo while Lucas Dias, who had four of his team's 13 three-pointers, scored 19 in defeat for Sesi Franca.