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Wins for the host, USA, Dominican Republic and Canada on opening day
BELÉM (Brazil) - The teams from Brazil, the United States, the Dominican Republic and Canada were victorious on the first day of the FIBA U16 Americas Championship 2019, that began on Monday at the Guilherme Paraense Arena in the city of Belém, Brazil.
The hosts did not disappoint and took advantage of the momentum of their fans to defeat Puerto Rico, 72-58, thanks to an inspired match closure. The Brazilian defense in the last five minutes only allowed the rival to two points, to claim their first win in Group B action.
With 5:41 remaining, Puerto Rico approached 57-56 with a steal and a Johned Walker lay-up; however, thereafter the Boricua offense hindered by the good work of the Brazilians, which limited Puerto Ricans and forced them to lose balls at crucial moments.
For its part, Brazil took advantage of these errors and opened the gap, while established a physical domain by controlling the rebounds 60 (22 offensive) to 40 and add 46 points in the paint.
The base Matheus Leoni with 18 points and the pivot Rodolfo Bolis with 17 and 16 rebounds, were the most productive for the home team. Walker with 20 units stood out for the Puerto Rican side.
In the previous game, Argentina had a dream first quarter to dominate 20-7, but the United States brought out its hierarchy, made adjustments and ended up winning 83-57, in a Group A match.
The North Americans closed the defense, ran the court, took advantage of their athletic qualities and in the next three sets were completely superior to the Argentines, who despite the setback did not leave a bad impression.
Smith, with 22 points and nine rebounds, led the United States in attack. Griffin followed with 17. Caffaro and Agusto Roveres were the best for Argentina with 14 and 12 points, respectively.
Dominican Republic came back from a disadvantage that came to be 14 points to defeat Mexico by 71-66 and take a step forward in Group A.
The Caribbean squad relied on a strong defensive pressure in the second half of the commitment, which allowed them to recover several balls and get baskets on the other side. Mexico finished with 25 turnovers, of which 15 were in the second half, thanks to the defense of their rivals.
In attack, the Dominicans had up to five players with 10 or more points. Jean Montero led the scorers with 15, while Angel Pimentel and Norman Tejada scored 14 apiece. Breylin Garcia contributed a double-double of 10 points and 14 rebounds.
For Mexico, Yahir Bonilla had 14 points, 14 rebounds and six assists and Miguel Figueroa added 12.
In the match that marked the opening of the tournament, Canada was forceful and defeated Uruguay, 101-63, in a match for Group B.
The first quarter of the match was a close fight (23-21 in favor of Canada), but thereafter the team from the North asserted their physical strength and tipped the balance completely in their favor.
The Canadians controlled the boards by catching 60 rebounds (27 offensive) to 40 of the rival and achieved 28 points in second chances. In addition, they made 25 points after the 21 turnovers of the Uruguayan team.
Forwards Shaedon Sharpe and Caleb Houston led the attack of the winners with 18 and 17 points respectively, while Agustín Ubal finished with 16 for the celestes.
On the second day of the continental competition, USA will face Mexico, Uruguay will meet Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic against Argentina and at the last game, Canada will face Brazil.