10 December, 2021
10 April, 2022
11 Marquinhos Sousa (SAO), São Paulo v Estelí
Game Report
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Sao Paulo edges Real Esteli, advance to Semi-Finals

RIO DE JANEIRO (Brazil) - In the second game of the Basketball Champions League Americas Final 8, undefeated Sao Paulo continued their winning ways as they defeated Real Esteli 75-71 to move on to the Semi-Final stage at Carioca Arena 1 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Out of the gate both Sao Paulo and Esteli matched each other’s energies, with both teams fighting for the lead forth before Sao Paulo got the edge leading by two to end the first ten minutes of play 18-16.

However, Sao Paulo wanted to keep their BCL Americas dreams alive against a tough Esteli team and used the second quarter as a push to put themselves in a position to advance to the quarterfinals.

Holding Esteli to just 11 points while scoring 24 of their own, Marquinhos Sousa tallied 17 points by the half while Bruno Caboclo contributed on both sides of the ball as one of the team’s pillars with 8 points and 6 rebounds in the half.


Corderro Bennet added 9 points – all of which were from behind the three-point arc – helping Sao Paulo pull away despite missing from mid-range.

Renaldo Balkman, Jezreel De Jesus and Ismael Romero all scored 8 or more points for Esteli in the half, but the three were the only ones on the scoreboard for their team and the rotation of Alexander Franklin and Rigoberto Mendoza could not make shots fall.

With their BCL Americas hopes on the line, Esteli made a turnaround in the third quarter, scoring 22 points coming out of the half – almost as many as they did in the first 20 minutes of play.

In combination with keeping Sao Paulo to 15 points to close in on what was once a 15-point deficit, Esteli now had cut the lead to just 8 points going into the final quarter.

De Jesus and Romero continued to drive the offense while Mendoza started to find the rim. Javier Mojica scored from the three-point line, despite an off-shooting night.

For Sao Paulo, with Caboclo and Sousa gaining attention on defense, the option of Tyrone Curnell helped Sao Paulo keep the lead as they went to battle for the final 10 minutes of play.

Esteli continued to fight into the fourth quarter as De Jesus and Romero went into overdrive, with both scorers finishing the game with 21 points as well as Romero grabbing 18 rebounds for a double-double including 10 defensive rebounds.

Using their physicality in the paint and getting off second-chance points, Esteli caused Sao Paulo’s defense to work to guard the two players, but as the rest of the bench was unable to find the rim, Sao Paulo managed to squeeze out a win off the play of Sousa and Caboclo’s performances on both sides of the ball with the added threat of Curnell.

Sousa managed to find some final scoring chances to keep Sao Paulo in the game despite the surge from Esteli, and tough defense of out-rebounding and blocking shots to keep second chances to a minimum was the key for Sao Paulo to stay in the game while Esteli was red-hot in the final ten minutes.

Sao Paulo will now take on the winner of Flamengo and Minas to round out the semi-final bracket and stays undefeated in Season 3 of BCL Americas with their win.