Flamengo edge out Minas to reach third BCLA Final
FRANCA (Brazil) - In the battle between two teams from Brazil and a rematch from last season's Quarterfinals, Flamengo emerged victorious over Minas 80-75 to advance to the Final of the Basketball Champions League Americas 2022-23.
After falling behind early, Minas ended the first quarter on a 14-5 run to take a 22-15 lead. Minas maintained their momentum and were leading for the entire second quarter until Flamengo went on a 14-0 run of their own for a one-point lead heading into the locker room at halftime.
Flamengo's Gabriel Galvanini had 10 points and didn't miss a shot in the first half (5-of-5).
Flamengo led by as many as nine points in the third frame, but Minas cut the lead down to three (63-60) thanks to two three-pointers by Lucas Faggiano and Alexey Borges, setting up an interesting final 10 minutes.
There were four lead changes in what was a back-and-forth fourth quarter. Minas led by a single point before Flamengo re-gained the lead and held it for the final five minutes to close out their five-point Semifinal victory.
Galvanini paced Flamengo's balanced attack with a well-rounded stat line of 14 points, 8 rebounds and 3 assists. The 24-year-old forward shot 6-of-8 from the field and made his only three-point attempt.
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Martin Cuello led Flamengo in scoring with 19 points and shot 50 percent from the field.
On the other side, Alexey Borges led Minas with a game-high 25 points along with 7 assists and 4 rebounds. Renan Lenz and Alexandre Paranhos each added 11 points in defeat.
Flamengo had a 43-27 advantage in rebounds (15-5 on the offensive glass) and outscored Minas 13-5 in second chance points. Flamengo's bench also came through with 31 points, as 21 of those points came from Jose Vildoza (11 points) and Guilherme Deodato (10 points).
Flamengo will await to see who they face in the championship of the BCLA Season 4, as it will be whoever wins the second Semifinal matchup between Sesi Franca and Quimsa. This will be Flamengo's third appearance in the Finals in four BCLA seasons (one runner-up in 2019-20, one championship in 2020-21).
Minas, meanwhile, will play in the third-place game for the second year in a row and will go against the loser of Sesi Franca and Quimsa.