17 February, 2020
23 February, 2021
Gian Clavell (PUR)
Game Report
to read

Gian Clavell leads Puerto Rico to win over Mexico in FIBA AmeriCup Qualifiers

SAN JUAN – Gian Clavell kept Puerto Rico’s AmeriCup dreams alive with a 23-point night in an 80-70 win over Mexico after a tough back and forth matchup on Friday night at Coliseo Roberto Clemente.

Puerto Rico’s 7-0 run in the first 2 minutes of the game set the tone early in the match, taking a 9-point lead at the end of the first quarter, 22-13. Shabazz Nappier scored his first ever points for Puerto Rico, leading the team during the quarter and finishing the game with 13 points and 5 assists.

Defense was the key to win for both teams beginning the second quarter, as Mexico was first to score after two and a half minutes, with only eight points scored between both teams through the first half of the quarter.

Foul trouble plagues both teams as Mexico outscored their opponent 21-18, with Gustavo Ayon having 11 points and 5 rebounds by halftime alone, but Puerto Rico clawed back by out-rebounding on the offensive end to keep their lead 40-34 going into the final 20 minutes.

Clavell held down the offense through two quarters for Puerto Rico with 11 points, while Ramon Clemente led the team in rebounds during the half with 6.

Mexico continued to control the game during the third quarter, once again putting up 19 points to Puerto Rico’s 18 in the third, cutting their deficit by one to trail 5 points going into the final quarter.

Gabriel Giron stepped up for Mexico, getting into double digit scoring by the end of the third, but turnovers plagued the team as Puerto Rico scored 21 points off turnovers compared to Mexico’s 13 during the game. Foul shots would also be a problem for Mexico, shooting just 60 percent from behind the line.

The fourth quarter saw Mexico closing the gap on Puerto Rico and taking the lead for the first time during the match, making it a 67-65 game with just 5 minutes left to play. Puerto Rico fell to just 34 percent field goal shooting in the game.

However, Mexico just couldn’t keep up the momentum of coming back from being down 15 points, while Puerto Rico continued to keep up the speed offensively in both scoring as well as rebounding.

Clemente’s rebounding, with 11 on the night including 7 offensively, were crucial to Puerto Rico’s success during the final minutes of the game. Puerto Rico extended the lead to 7 with just 46 seconds left to play, and Devon Collier’s 12 points and 4 rebounds helped solidify a win for the team.

Ayon and Giron combined for 33 points and 13 rebounds for Mexico, but with only one other player in Jose Estrada scoring in double digits, Mexico couldn’t offensively keep up with Puerto Rico’s scoring, including 20 second chance points compared to Mexico’s mere 9.

Mexico will now face off against the USA on February 20 at 5:00PM EST (6:00PM local time) while Puerto Rico plays Bahamas later that night at 8:00PM EST.