Flamengo's coach and his joy after winning the BCL Americas
MANAGUA (Nicaragua) – There's always revenge in life, and one of the most significant cases is Flamengo's. The "Mengao" was on the verge of winning the BCL Americas title last year, when it lost against Quimsa, but it redeemed itself by defeating Real Estelí and winning the trophy of the second edition, in Nicaragua.
This creature's father is Gustavo de Conti, the coach that kept the team's base and who took the "Fla" to the top of the continent. "I'm very happy with the title. I want to thank Flamengo's managers and all the fans who always support us, who are used to celebrating soccer titles in the last years, and they also needed this international basketball title, it was a title the club had been chasing for many years. We feel we have done our job and we're giving back all the love they always give us," said the coach.
In the final match, it had a very tough rival, Real Estelí, who was the tournament's great surprise and won a historical second place for its country. How did De Conti see them? "For me, it was no surprise Real Estelí got to the final. Those who follow basketball in the Americas know who De Jesús, Balkman, Mojica and Ruíz are, all from Real Estelí, everyone knows them and knows they're international players who play in their national teams, players with trajectories in Europe and the NBA. We had no doubt they could end up fighting for the title."
Flamengo won the tournament undefeated, with eight victories in eight matches, and it had to bounce back from serious injuries. In the Final 8, it lost Olivinha and Chuzito González, who'll have to undergo surgery due to a fracture in one of his hands, and it also didn't have its great star, Franco Balbi. The Argentine point guard tore his ACL and the coach remembered him after winning the title: "I want to dedicate this title to Franco Balbi, who's not here due to an injury. He was a fundamental player in our campaign, a player that was missed inside the court, but who was supporting us from the outside. I want to dedicate this title to him and thank him for everything he does for us."
Gustavinho joined the club in 2018 and he seems to have no limit. Flamengo is the king of the Americas, it's finished the first phase of the NBB (Brazil's National League) in first place, and wants much more.