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Argentina U19 star Arengo steals show in Cancun
CANCUN (DIRECTV Liga de las Americas/2015 FIBA U19 World Championship) - Regatas Corrientes didn't meet their objective of claiming a top two finish in Group E of the DIRECTV Liga de las Americas over the weekend, something that was needed to reach the Final Four.
The players and coaches nevertheless walked off the court on Sunday night after their last game with a real sense of achievement due in large part to a player in Argentina's plans for the FIBA U19 World Championship, Juan P. Arengo.
On a night in which he enjoyed one of the finest performances of his pro career, the 18-year-old nailed a game-winning three-pointer at the buzzer for an 89-86 triumph over Sa Jose dos Campos.
The three-ball excited his coach, Nicolas Casalanguida, so much that he nearly jumped out of his shoes as he celebrated with Arengo and the Regatas players.
The youngster was all smiles and shared in a terrific moment with his teammates.
The victory was particularly sweet for Regatas as they trailed by 17 points midway through the third quarter.
Casalanguida, an assistant coach to Sergio Hernandez in Argentina's national team, lashed out at his players during a timeout and they responded in grand style.
The 1.85m guard Arengo hit four of seven shots from long range, including the one at the death.
Arengo played for Argentina at the 2014 FIBA Americas U18 Championship in Colorado Springs, Colorado, in the United States and averaged 14 points per game.
The game-winning shot provided the FIBA Americas League with one of its top moments of the season, even though it came in a battle for third place in Group E.
Bauru overcame a 15-point deficit in the second quarter to win their opener against Regatas, 90-70, and then cruised to a 95-67 victory over Sao Jose dos Campos in an all-Brazilian affair on Saturday.
On Sunday, when they faced Pioneros in a battle of 2-0 teams, Liga Sudamericana winners Bauru had to withstand a terrific effort from the hosts and their exciting but combustible guard Romel Beck to claim first place.
Beck got hot from beyond the arc in the first half when he poured in 18 of his game-high 28 points.
Larry James Taylor, who with Bauru teammates Alex Garcia and Rafael Hettsheimer wore the Brazil shirt at the FIBA Basketball World Cup, gave his team the lead for good with a three-pointer 8:39 from the end.
The shot made it 69-67 and Bauru pulled away for a 92-79 triumph to remain unbeaten in this season's FIBA Americas League.
Beck was disqualified from the game in the final minutes after raising his arm and throwing a light punch at the head of Bauru's Jefferson.
Alex was outstanding in Bauru's last couple of wins.
The 34-year-old capped off his Group E campaign with 17 points, five assists and five rebounds.