06 - 12
June 2022
Ecuador v Puerto Rico
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Puerto Rico, USA, Brazil and Canada win in day 1 of U18 Americas Championship

TIJUANA (Mexico) - The FIBA U18 Americas Championship tipped off Monday with the usual suspects notching their first wins of the competition at the Auditorio Zonkey in Tijuana, Mexico.

Ecuador 64 - 85 Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico got things going in Group B with a comfortable 85-64 win over Ecuador behind Yaniel Rivera’s 26 points and six rebounds, excellent defense and the team’s depth.

The Boricua sharpshooter went 4/5 from beyond the arc and 8/10 at the free throw line while Alejandro Aviles added a 13-point, 11-rebound double-double.

Eddin Santiago’s squad held Ecuador to paltry 31.6 percent from the field while outscoring them 30-0 on bench points.

Ecuador trailed by double-digits for most of the game but managed to win the third quarter, 20-19. Point guard Janer Arcila led the way with 22 points and four assists while Joseph Caicedo had 13 points and 14 rebounds. The 17-year-old power forward, currently playing for Quimsa in Argentina, also added three steals for Lucas Gil Russo’s outfit.

Dominican Republic 48 - 116 USA

Looking for their sixth consecutive U18 title, the United States jumped to a 22-4 lead against the Dominican Republic and never looked back, clinching a 116-48 rout in Group B action.

Team USA led by as many as 71 points in the waning moments in a complete performance highlighted by a suffocating defense that held the DR to 26 percent from the field.

Despite only goung 4/21 from beyond the arc, Tad Boyle’s squad shot 52.9 from the field, led by center Kel’el Ware’s 17 points. The University of Oregon recruit added nine rebounds, a steal and a pair of blocks for a team that scored 82 points in the paint.

Brandon Garrison (15), Kanaan Carlyle (14), Mark Armstrong (11), Seth Trimble (11) and Cam Whitmore (10) also scored in double-digits as the U.S. scored 38 points off the D.R.’s 28 turnovers.

José Cabrera’s squad just couldn’t get anything going and finished with nine assists on 19 made baskets. Fernando Osorio led the way with 11 points off the bench, while Leonel Nuñez added nine and eight rebounds. Dominican starters only managed 12 points and shot 6/32 from the field.

Argentina 55 - 60 Brazil

In a defensively focused, closely contested affair, Brazil defeated Argentina 60-55 in the latest edition of the South American derby. Despite being held to 32.8 percent from the field, Vitor Galvani’s team led most of the night behind a physical attacked that allowed them to shoot 23 free throws – converting on 16 of them to double Argentina’s output at the free throw line.

Guards Eduardo Bersh and Reynan Camilo Dos Santos scored 14 points apiece while Gabriel Landeira added 11 for the Brazilians, who assisted on 15 of their 19 made baskets.

Meanwhile, Argentina truly suffered from their inability to make shots at any level, going 1/17 from beyond the arc and 8/18 at the charity stripe.

Nicolas Stenta (14 points) was their only player to score in double digits, as the Brazilian defense allowed few second chance opportunities and finished with a 45-38 edge on the boards.

Herman Mandole’s team cut the deficit to four points late in the fourth quarter, but Brazil showed poise at the line and held strong for the win in Group A.

Mexico 75 - 83 Canada

In the last game of the Monday slate, Canada resisted a furious comeback attempted from Mexico, hanging on to win, 83-75.

The Canadians led throughout most of the night in another duel of defenses, but Mexico erased a double-digit lead in the fourth quarter and momentarily to go ahead with 6:26 left to go in regulation.

But instead of folding, Patrick Bruce Tatham’s squad uncorked a 19-8 run to retake the lead and eventually put the game away.

Vasean Allette led the way with 19 points despite a paltry 5/19 from the field. The Canadian point guard added seven rebounds, four assists and a steal, while Elijah Fisher (11 points) was his only fellow countryman to score in double digits.

Mexico held their own defensively, holding Canada to 39.2 percent from the field, but couldn’t muster enough offense to come away with the victory despite Santiago Camacho and Victor Valdez scoring 16 apiece.

In the end, Javier Monferrer’s guys couldn’t recover from missing 14 of their 28 free throw attempts and from losing the rebounding battle, 63-42. Canada turned 20 offensive rebounds into 20 second chance points, all but extinguishing the host country’s chances in the Group A opener.