USA, Canada head to Final; Argentina face Puerto Rico for third place
YUCATAN (Mexico) – USA and Canada punched their tickets to the 2023 FIBA Under-16 Americas Championship Finals, taking down Puerto Rico and Argentina on Saturday night.
USA routed Puerto Rico 122-63 in its fourth straight 110+ point performance. Canada edged Argentina 65-58.
USA is in the U16 Americas Final for the eighth consecutive edition, having won gold in each of the previous seven tournaments. Canada has earned its fourth finals birth in five years after losing in the semi-finals in 2021.
Here's a look at how the semis went down:
Canada advanced to their first U16 Americas Final since 2019 with a 65-58 victory over Argentina.
For the first quarter, the two sides battled evenly. Canada led 16-14 after 10 minutes, but Argentina jumped out to a 12-3 run to start the second quarter. Cesar Martinez, Joaquin Sarmiento Matias Dominé and Felipe Minzer all scored during the run, as the Argentinians edged out in front.
Canada trailed 30-26 at halftime but came out firing in the second half, outscoring Argentina 39-28 in the final two quarters to seal its fifth win in five days.
Kamai Samuels, Canada’s dynamic point guard, racked up 15 points , 11 rebounds and six assists. And big man Paul Osaruyi continued his dominant tournament, scoring 15 points and grabbing 10 rebounds.
Sharpshooter Quinten Ethier also played a key factor, nailing three three-pointers in a nine-point performance.
Argentina’s Felipe Minzer posted a game-high 27 points on 11-of-16 shooting. Canada even held Ivan Pratto to just six points after the big man put up 28 points and 25 rebounds yesterday against the Dominican Republic.
Argentina’s win seals their third place game matchup tomorrow vs. the Dominican Republic, as Argentina vies to win their second bronze medal at the U16 Americas. They last secured the bronze in 2015.
The USA-Canada Final tips off at 8:00 p.m. local time in Merida, Mexico. Argentina will face Puerto Rico in the third place game at 5:30 p.m.
In the early games, Uruguay and Mexico will face off at 12:30 p.m. in the seventh-place game. The Dominican Republic and Brazil battle at 3:00 p.m. for fifth place.
The United States defeated Puerto Rico 122-63 to win its fifth consecutive game and advance to the Final Sunday evening.
After racking up four blowout wins in a row, Team USA surprisingly trailed 14-10 after 4:20 in the first quarter.
Puerto Rico’s Rognny Santiago, Justin Roman and Felipe Quinones all started hot to take the early lead.
But the USA quickly reigned supreme, closing the first quarter on a 22-11 roll to power ahead. They then dominated the second quarter, too, and went into halftime leading 62-42.
It was more of the same in the second half, which featured a 20-4 run to open the third quarter. By the end of the night, the final score featured a winning margin of 59 points.
Koa Peat was the star of the night for the Americans. He racked up 29 points in just 22 minutes, also snagging a team-high 14 rebounds and dishing out four assists. Darren Peterson added 22 points and four assists of his own.
The USA owned the battle of the boards, outrebounding Puerto Rico, 69-24. Cameron Boozer grabbed nine boards and scored 15 points. Tyran Stokes and Isiah Harwell each hauled in eight rebounds.
For Puerto Rico, Santiago hit three treys and scored 11 points, while Miles Fuentes led the scoring with 14 points.
Puerto Rico will face Argentina tomorrow at 5:30 p.m. local time in Merida, Mexico for third place. Puerto Rico last finished third in the 2017 FIBA Under-16 Americas, its best-ever finish.
In the reclassification games for places 5-8, these were the results:
The Dominican Republic scored 24 points in the fourth quarter to seal a 78-68 win over Mexico.
In a close back and forth game it was Mexico who got the early edge, leading by 6 after the first quarter as Dylan Aguilera was on all sides of the ball for Mexico while Karim Lopez dominated in the paint.
But in the second quarter Dominican Republic took the reigns and led by 6 points of their own as they outscored Mexico 26-14 in the second quarter.
Gregory Reyes added 5 points early in the quarter, and Lucas Morillo and Eugri Germán helped to lead the charge offensively in the second quarter with Morillo tallying 6 points and Germán putting 5 of his own in the net to lead going into the second half.
Lopez continued to shine for Mexico but it was Elier Fernandez on both sides of the ball, blocking shots and grabbing rebounds while scoring 4 points as Edgar Grande matched with 4 of his own to hold on during the quarter.
In the fourth quarter Dominican Republic's bench depth helped them find the win, as four different players had nine or more points to finish the game while six players had five or more points and almost every available player contributed a basket in the win.
While even on the boards both offensively and defensively, as missed shots plagued Mexico, Dominican Republic's 6-0 run halfway through the fourth allowed them a big enough gap to run to a win scoring 24 fourth quarter points to Mexico's 15.
Germán led Dominican Republic with 21 points and 8 rebounds, Morillo added a double-double of 18 points and 10 rebounds while Ian Rodriguez added 10 in the win.
Lopez also added a dominant double-double for Mexico with 22 points and 11 rebounds, while Grande added 14 points and 10 rebounds for one of his own.
Brazil jumped to a hot start first, leading 25-12 after the first quarter where they dominated the paint as Fabricio De Freitas was already in double digits and shot a perfect 100% in the first half.
Patrick Perna also contributed to Brazil's early success and the team shot 64% from field goal range early despite struggling from beyond the arc.
Uruguay relied on Valentin Curbelo and Lucas Rodriguez to carry much of their scoring load early and contributed 14 of Uruguay's 28 first half points together. Yet Brazil wound upahead by 15 at the half, 43-28.
Uruguay continued to find their footing offensively out scoring Brazil 17-16. Curbelo tallied 16 points by the end of the third quarter while Ismael Suarez and Santiago Tricot both added 7 points by that point.
In the end Brazil picked up in the fourth quarter and held Uruguay to just 6 points. De Freitas finished with a double-double of 23 points and 13 rebounds, Fernandes finished with 11 and Pedro Baddini added 10.
Their well rounded bench contributed in all areas including every player who played more than four minutes getting on the scoreboard in the match.
Uruguay was led in scoring by Curbelo, who finished with 18 points, followed by 9 from Suarez who also grabbed 14 rebounds.