São Paulo crowned BCLA 2022 Champs after win over Bigua
RIO DE JANEIRO (Brazil) – After Flamengo’s first-round exit in the Basketball Champions League Americas Final 8 meant that they would no longer be able to defend their title, a new winner was crowned as Sao Paulo FC beat Bigua 98-84 to be crowned the Season 3 champions.
With both teams hungry to be crowned the best team in the prestigious competition of the Americas, the first quarter was a back-and-forth battle between two physical, offensively sound teams with Sao Paulo getting the slight edge as they led by just four points after the first ten minutes.
As Bruno Caboclo was held to just five points in the quarter after his stellar semi-final performance, the trio of Elio Corazza with 11 points, Marquinhos Sousa with 8 points and Cordero Bennet with 6 points carried Sao Paulo’s offense to take the slight lead.
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The four players together shot over 66 percent from the floor and beat out Bigua’s equally impressive shooting of 55 percent, as they had their own lethal trio of Santiago Vidal with 8 points, Donald Sims with 7 points and Luis Santos with 6 points.
Despite a close first quarter, Sao Paulo found their groove in the beginning of the second quarter and lead by as many as 13 points with just under five minutes to play, holding Bigua to just 8 points.
However, Bigua was able to finally shake off their shooting issues and scored 13 points in the second half of the quarter to trail by only 10 despite their slow start as Victor Rudd helped their offense come together.
Even with Bigua’s newfound scoring opportunities, Sao Paulo’s top scorers continued to prey on Bigua’s defense, including beating them from beyond the arc, as Corazza, Sousa, Bennet and Caboclo combined for 50 of Sao Paulo’s 57 first-half points, leading 57-47 over Bigua at the halfway point.
Coming out of the half, both teams had a player with a hot hand who tipped in 11 points in the quarter, as Rudd kept up with his second quarter scoring while Caboclo started to get his confidence back behind the three-point line, scoring 9 of his 11 points from the arc.
While Bigua still struggled to find a balance in their bench rotation, Sao Paulo used their size in the paint as well elite level ball movement anchored by Corazza to get a 24-point lead going into the final 10 minutes of play, as well as playing intense defense and blocking shots that Bigua could not recover from.
Not giving up in the fight, Bigua had a burst of energy in the fourth quarter that saw them outscore Sao Paulo 24-14, as Rudd finished the game with 20 points and 9 rebounds while Vidal finished with 16 points, 9 assists and 7 rebounds, but their inability to make shots fall proved to be their downfall as they shot just 41 percent to end the game.
Even in a low-scoring fourth quarter for Sao Paulo, Caboclo continued to play with the intensity he had all competition finishing with 29 points on 11-of-15 shooting for 73 percent shooting from the floor.
Four different players scored 16 or more points in the win for Sao Paulo as Sousa, Corazza and Bennet all contributed offensively as well as Tyrone Curnell adding 10 points.
Sims, Vidal, Santos and Rudd all also scored 16 or more points in the win, but the rest of Bigua’s bench added just 12 points in the loss as Sao Paulo’s defensive pressure forced Bigua’s major contributors to miss shots.
🏆🥇 @SPFCBasquetebol venceu o @BiguaOnline por 98 a 84 e é campeão do BCL Americas.— #BCLAmericas (@BCLAmericas) April 10, 2022
🔴 Conferência de imprensa https://t.co/RpTeqFTeo2
📊 Estatisticas https://t.co/dHRdNJkHvr
Resumo da partida ⤵️ pic.twitter.com/SfQjx3lXZ5