Caballos defeated Titanes and got into the next phase
PANAMA (Panama) – It was a night to go all or nothing; each team had to win to stay in the competition. Caballos de Coclé brought up its power, led by Flor Meléndez, and thanks mostly to an excellent third quarter, it defeated Titanes 86-81 and qualified for the BCL Americas' next phase.
The match had it all; a very close development in the first half, and a strange one during the second. Caballos went out to play as if it were a true final match. It was attentive in its defense and scored heavily in the opposite hoop. Josimar Ayarza had a breakthrough night, with 30 points, and he became the ideal attack weapon for his team.
#BCLAmericas— #BCLAmericas (@BCLAmericas) March 30, 2021
📍 Ciudad de Panamá.
⛹🏽♂️ Grupo A
🔴⚫️ @caballoscocle 86 - @josimarAyarza10 30pts | @tjader4 14pts,6reb | C.J #Rodriguez 12pts
🔵🔴 @titanes_baq 81 - @SelemSafar 19pts | J. #Rodriguez 13pts
📊 https://t.co/MSNNhnxZbT pic.twitter.com/Pw5FJw7QO3
Carlos Rodríguez was fundamental with five points at the end of the first half, giving the locals the final advantage 42-38. There were also high points in Tjader Fernández (14 points and 6 rebounds), Ernesto Oglivie (9 and 11) and in Michael Hicks' experience, with 11 points.
Caballos grew in the second half, and it had a perfect third quarter, 28-19, to finally tilt the match in its favor. Titanes could not sort out its defense and it only woke up in the last quarter, when it scared the Panamanians quite a bit. A 17-point advantage narrowed to three, and they had a thrilling end thanks to Juan Tello and Selem Safar's three-pointers.
But Caballos kept it cool when defending and it never lost its nerve in its attack, and it was able to close the match and win it. Titanes left with a bittersweet aftertaste, because it had a good tournament, but it couldn't qualify for the next round. The Panamanians, on the other hand, took a giant step toward history, and they'll be among the best eight teams of the BCL Americas' second edition.