17 January
31 March, 2019
6 Marcos Mata (SLA), 34 Arnold Louis (LAV)
14/03/2019
Preview
to read

San Lorenzo, Guaros, Capitanes and Las Animas pull out all the stops to reach the Final4

BUENOS AIRES (DIRECTV Liga de las Américas 2019) – Current champions San Lorenzo (Argentina), Guaros de Lara (Venezuela), Capitanes de Arecibo (Puerto Rico) and CD Las Ánimas (Chile) will be fighting for the last two spots in the Final4 at the DIRECTV Liga de las Américas 2019, when they face each other at Polideportivo Boedo un Buenos Aires, Argentina.

The two first places of the group will accompany Paulistano (Brazil) and Capitanes de Ciudad de México, who last week clenched their places in the decisive stage after dominating the first semi-final in São Paulo, Brazil.

San Lorenzo, as locals and defending champions, are one of the favorites. The great season they're having in the Argentine league, with a 17-1 record and a six-win streak, so confirms this. In this tournament they have also portrayed their strength by commandeering Group C undefeated and will have all their key pieces in their attempt to be among the four finalists.

“We have to be firm and do our best game. I’ve been recovering my level after a negative spout, and what's important is that it’s just in time for Liga de las Américas. These are three very challenging games and anything can happen. We must take a step forward,” said center Jerome Meyinsse to Argentine press outlet Uno Contra Uno.

Along Meynisse, coach Gonzalo García will also be counting on Nicolás Aguirre, Marcos Mata, Dar Tucker, Joel Anthony, Mathias Calfani, Máximo Fjellerup, Donald Sims and José Vildoza, who offer an opportunity that very few squads are able to experience.

San Lorenzo Stats in the Group Phase:

PTS

FG

2P

3P

FT

REB

AST

TO

STL

BLK

89.0

48%

61%

33%

60%

40.0

18.3

11.0

10.3

5.3

 Individual leaders:
Points: Dar Tucker – 20.0
Rebounds: Joel Anthony – 8.0
Assists: Nicolás Aguirre – 6.3
Efficiency: Joel Anthony – 17.3

Guaros are also portraying strength in their ranks thanks to the same core of players that took them to dominate Group D with a 3-0 record, but they also reinforced the squad with center B.J. West, of Mexico’s efficient campaign, point guard David Cubillán, who is coming from participating with the Venezuelan national team in the last window of the FIBA Basketball World Cup Americas Qualifiers to China 2019, and shooting guard Johanner Sifontes — who was not available in the group phase in Puerto Rico due to inconveniences with his visa.

The problem for the Venezuelan quintet once again is the lack of continuous games, since their local league has not seen any activity since mid-2018. However, in the beginning of this week they played a friendly in Argentine lands, against Obras.
Néstor Colmenares, José and Gregory Vargas, Heissler Guillent, Luis Bethelmy, Aaron Harper, Rodney Green and Justin Williams complete the intimidating roster that will be headed by Argentine coach Fernando Duró.

“It’ll be quite a strong, competitive and equalled quadrangular. We're going into it focused and we prepared quite well. We're very hopeful to get the ticket to the Final4 but we're aware that it won't be an easy task,” analyzed Gregory Vargas for EmboCASLA.

Guaros Stats in the Group Phase:

PTS

FG

2P

3P

FT

REB

AST

TO

STL

BLK

86.3

47%

56%

28%

60%

46.0

18.3

8.7

3.3

2.7

 Individual Leaders:
Points: Aaron Harper – 20.3
Rebounds: Justin Williams – 13.3
Assists: Heissler Guillent – 5.3
Efficiency: Justin Williams – 23.0

If the Argentines and the Venezuelans have solid squads, Capitanes are not far behind. The Puerto Ricans are armored with Trey Gilder, a well-known Caribbean socrer; Denis Clemente, who recently ended a few commitments in Mexico; center Carlos “Yao” López, and forward and former NBA player Rakeem Christmas.
They will be joining Andre Emmet, Víctor Rudd, Johwen Villegas, Rafael “Chamo” Pérez, Christian Pizarro, and others.

“The group we're in is complicated. Guaros have won the tournament twice, San Lorenzo are the current champions, and Chile (Las Ánimas) must fight the battle. This is a great challenge and we're ready for it. Each game counts. We must win by as much as we can and lose by the least that we can. The important thing is to focus on each game and stay together toward the same goal of going on to the Final4,” said coach Rafael “Pachy” Cruz to the team’s press.

Capitanes, contrary to the first stage where they left with a 1-2 record in Group D, now are in better tracks. Puerto Rico's Superior Basketball League began a couple of weeks ago and the team are starting at 4-1.

Capitanes Stats in the Group Phase:

PTS

FG

2P

3P

FT

REB

AST

TO

STL

BLK

87.0

47%

54%

29%

85%

41.0

16.3

12.7

7.7

2.0

 Individual Leaders:
Points: Andre Emmett – 25.7
Rebounds: Victor Rudd – 8.3
Assists: Christian Pizarro – 5.7
Efficiency: Andre Emmett – 22.3

CD Las Ánimas, the surprising squad in the group phase and that is going down in the history books as the first Chilean club in this competition, has the tools to surprise once again. However, this will depend a lot on their emotions and metal strength after the interruption in their chain of five titles in the Chilean league due to a painful elimination in the seventh game in the semi-finals phase of the Conferencia Sur, against Ancud.

Small forwards Brandon Robinson and Arnold Louis, who were outstanding in the previous stage, will once again be the spearheads of the team led by Argentine coach Lucas Zurita. Also returning are center J.J. Moore, point guard Franco Morales, captain José Del Solar, and Diego Low. Small forward Sebastián Suárez is once again present as a reinforcement and the new faces will be Brazilian forward Dida Pereira and power forward Pedro Sandoval.

When arriving at Argentina, Del Solar said to EmboCASLA: “We're coming with a lot of expectations to give a good performance. We're excited to face the great rivals of the Americas. We're confident.”

CD Las Ánimas Stats in the Group Phase:

PTS

FG

2P

3P

FT

REB

AST

TO

STL

BLK

84.0

39%

47%

28%

75%

41.0

15.3

13.3

9.3

0.7

 Individual Leaders:
Points: Brandon Robinson – 27.7
Rebounds: Arnold Louis – 9.7
Assists: Franco Morales – 4.0
Efficiency: Brandon Robinson – 23.3

The game that will initiate this group will take place on Friday and will feature Guaros vs. Capitanes, starting at 7:10 PM, local game time. Then, hosts San Lorenzo will face Las Ánimas.

FIBA