Follow FIBA on Facebook
Panama came back from a 20-point deficit to defeat Uruguay to close their FIBA AmeriCup 2022 Qualifiers stint
CALI (Colombia) - Panama beat Uruguay 77-71 after recovering from a 20-point deficit as they closed Group B’s schedule of the FIBA AmeriCup 2022 Qualifiers.
It was an erratic start for Panama as they ran out of ideas, were 21% from the three-point line, and succumbed to Uruguay for three quarters. Uruguay managed to take an advantage of 20 points (57-37) with 3 minutes remaining in the third quarter.
Thanks to Tony Bishop Jr. and Trevor Gaskins Panama then had a 27-7 run in the fourth reducing Uruguay’s attack,
“We started the game very badly. We missed many shots, we moved the ball very badly and we also did not execute on defense. Thankfully, this is a group with extraordinary chemistry and after the words of Coach Flor Meléndez at halftime we were able to go out to execute well in the second half and achieve the comeback,” said Tony Bishop Jr, who had a double-double with 19 points and 11 rebounds.
Flor Meléndez’s return to FIBA after his retirement was very successful. The Puerto Rican coach gave credit to the work done before the window where the Panamanians had 19 practices before taking the field.
“I was surprised by the first half because we had trained a lot in defense and we failed at the start. Then we modified, we knew how to fill the spaces in defense in the second half and that allowed us to run the court and take control of the game,” said Flor Meléndez, who was happy to return to the court.
“I am happy with the victory and with the performance of the boys. That we led a team as fluid as Uruguay by 19 points in the second half shows that they worked well," added the Puerto Rican.
For Uruguay, Federico Haller stood out with a line of 17 points and 5 assists. Also Joaquín Rodríguez with 15 counters, 3 assists and 2 rebounds.
Before jumping onto the court, both teams - along with Brazil - had already secured their ticket to the next FIBA AmeriCup 2022. Uruguay with 3-3 was in first place in the table, followed by Brazil (4G-0P), Panama ( 3G-2P) and the eliminated Paraguay (0G-5P). The difference in matches played between the teams is due to the fact that Brazil did not play this window.