10 December, 2021
10 April, 2022
Flamengo v Minas
07/04/2022
Game Report
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Minas downs defending champions Flamengo in thriller

RIO DE JANEIRO (Brazil) - If you come at the king, you best not miss.

That’s exactly what Minas Tenis Clube didn't do Wednesday night, defeating defending champions Flamengo, 85-83, in their home turf to advance to the Final Four of the 2021-22 Basketball Champions League Americas.

Games don’t come any closer than this. In a blow-by-blow, down-to-the-wire extravaganza at the Carioca Arena 1 in Rio de Janeiro, the visiting squad erased a 7-point deficit in the last 128 seconds to shock Flamengo and put an end to their hopes of keeping the continental crown.

Down 78-73 with 2:08 to go in the fourth quarter, Renan Lenz hit consecutive three-pointers and Alexey Borges added another to reclaim the lead. The rest of the game was a free throws and defense affair where Minas managed to hang on as Borges bottled up Yago Santos’s three-point attempt as the clock expired.

 

That put the finishing touches on a magnificent performance from Minas’ starting five, which scored all but 7 of their 85 points despite the absence of star guard Shaquille Johnson.

They all scored in double digits, led by Borges – who produced a sublime 19-point, 12-assist double-double.

 

19-year-old Gui Santos added 17 points for Minas, while Tavario Miller and Guilherme Deodato chipped in 15 points each.

None of them, of course, with a higher degree of difficulty than this bucket straight of the circus by Deodato.

 

The game was destined to go down to the wire, with constant lead changes as both teams traded punches.

Flamengo was up at the end of the first quarter and again at the end of the third, especially once Yago Santos came alive.

After having just 4 points on 0/2 from long distance and no assists, Yago uncorked an all-time second half that was very close to turning him into a hero forever.

The Brazilian point guard scored 25 of his 29 in the second, coming alive from downtown.

 

Yago finished 6/12 from long distance, but the one everybody will remember the most is the very last one he couldn’t get to find the bottom of the net.

He also lacked help, something not very characteristic of the Flamengo offense. Only Joao Paulo Batista (12 points) joined him in scoring in double digits, as Flamengo shot 45.3% from the field and 31.4% from three-point territory.

Brandon Robinson and Dar Tucker both shot 3/9 from the field while veteran star Olivinha only contributed 9 points and 8 rebounds. Vitor Faverani wasn’t available to play for Gustavo Conti’s squad.

In the end, Minas was just a little steadier. They had 12 turnovers to Flamengo’s 15, generating a crucial 25-12 edge in that facet of the game. They also did just enough damage on fast breaks (19-6) to counteract the fact that Flamengo outscored them 18-0 in second-chance points.

And when the pressure seemed unbearable, Renan Lenz (13 points, 3/4 from beyond the arc) had ice in his veins to rescue Minas from the brink.

 

Minas was just better offensively, shooting 53.6% from the field and assisting on 21 of 30 made baskets.

Leonardo Costa’s outfit now faces a similarly challenging task, as they will face Sao Paulo on Thursday night. A spot in the BCLA Finals awaits.

 

FIBA