Ruiz, Mojica double down to lead Real Esteli BCLAmericas Quarter-Finals
MANAGUA (Nicaragua) – Jared Ruiz’s 28 points – including 12 in the fourth quarter – were the difference as Real Esteli beat Sesi Franca to claim the final spot in the Basketball Champions League Americas Semi-finals with a 94-73 win.
Javier Mojica came out strong for Real Esteli in the first quarter, playing all 10 minutes and scoring 9 points and 2 rebounds. Jezreel De Jesus also added 6 points and 2 rebounds to start the game. Guilherme Hubner scored two-thirds of Sesi Franca’s 15 first quarter points with 10 points, also leading the team in rebounds with 4.
Sesi Franca came out strong in the second quarter with Andre Goes adding 6 points of his own to add, but Real Esteli countered with 17 points to build their lead to 13 going into the half.
Sesi Franca’s Hubner made solid effort, managing a double-double through only three quarters with 18 points and 11 rebounds.
With the game so close and a Semi-final berth on the line, Real Esteli turned up the volume and managed to outscore their opponent 31-19 and take a 21-point lead to end the game. The scoring trio of De Jesus, Mojica and Ruiz all finished the game with at least 22 points, and Jeleel Akindele also finished in double digit scoring with 10.
Though Sesi Franca let their close deficit slip, it was not without effort as Lucas Dias and Jamaal Smith both finished the game with 10 points each as well. Dias also grabbed 6 rebounds off the boards to assist on the defensive end.
Mojica finished the game with a double-double for Real Esteli, scoring 22 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. Real Esteli out-rebounded their opponent 53-41, beating Sesi Franca both offensively and defensively, leading to 22 second chance points.
Down by as many as 27 at one point, Sesi Franca stayed in the game with Real Esteli, but Sesi Franca shooting only 16 percent from the 3-point line, while Real Esteli shot 48 percent made a difference when unable to get points in the paint.
Real Esteli will now face off against Minas in their Semi-final game of Basketball Champions League Americas on Sunday in Managua, Nicaragua.