Jackson leads Minas over Sao Paulo to take home third place in BCLAmericas Finals
MANAGUA (Nicaragua) - In the third-place game of the BCLAmericas bracket, Minas pulled away from Sao Paulo in the second half to win a sloppy affair 75-58.
While one of Minas’ top players, David Nesbitt, struggled with just 10 points on 3-of-10 shooting, the Brazilian club was led by David Jackson (14 points) and Joao Paulo Batista (11 points) off the bench.
Like Sao Paulo, Minas didn’t play particularly well as they were shaky shooting the ball and missed six free throws. But ultimately, it was Minas’ depth that changed the outlook of the entire game. After leading by only one point at halftime, Minas found some serious rhythm from some unlikely role players.
Batista was sharp and efficient around the rim in only 15 minutes of action, while Rafael Moreira Da Silva offset what was a 17.6% shooting performance from beyond the arc for Minas. Even Shaquille Kamel A. Johnson produced with seven points, seven rebounds and four assists. Overall, Minas outscored Sao Paulo 30-11 in bench points.
Sao Paulo clearly never recovered from their disappointing outing on Sunday vs. Flamengo. No player who saw action for the club had a positive +/- and everyone other than Georginho De Paula (17 points) finished with a less than 10 efficiency rating.
The lack of ball movement and crispness offensively was painfully obvious and ultimately led to a rough second half that never gave them a chance to build off a slim halftime deficit.
Minas has to be proud of the way they overcame adversity in this campaign of the BCLAmericas. They were only 2-4 in group play games with Flamengo holding a clear advantage in Group D. Instead of folding in bracket play, they crushed the defending champs, Quimsa, and bounced back from a loss to Real Esteli to earn third place.
Sao Paulo defeated Quimsa in group play and they also knocked off undefeated San Lorenzo in the bracket. Those wins didn’t give them enough momentum down the stretch though as they will finish fourth in the league.