09 December, 2022
16 April, 2023
22 Shaquille Johnson (MIN)
Game Report
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Minas opens BCLA quarter finals with strong home win

BELO HORIZONTE (Brazil) – Minas got the 2022-23 Basketball Champions League Americas quarter finals started with an emphatic victory of Libertadores de Querétaro, 98-78, Saturday afternoon at Arena Minas Tenis Clube in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.

Leonardo Costa's squad combined strong defense, excellent work on the boards and solid ball movement to lead wire-to-wire and go up 1-0 in the series.

Alexey Borges got the party started in the first quarter, scoring 11 of his 22 points to help Minas quickly open a double-digit lead.

The 27-year-old point guard was on finisher mode as Minas doubled up their opponent at the end of the opening period (28-13), with the home team assisting in all 10 of their first-quarter buckets.

Wesley Ferreira (15 points) joined him in the second quarter keep the visiting outfit at bay:


The third quarter had yet another hero for the Brazilians, as Shaquille Johnson woke up and broke the game open.

The 32-year-old point guard scored 8 of his 18 points in the period while also generating plenty of offense (7 assists) for his teammates.


In the meantime, Ismael Romero was doing everything he could to keep Libertadores afloat.

After being held scoreless in the first quarter, the Cuban-born star (who plays internationally for Puerto Rico) resorted to take over his team's offense.


Romero (14 points and 10 rebounds) did everything from rebounding to bringing the ball up the court on the break to finishing while buying time for Libertadores' other weapons to get going.

And eventually they did, as Elijah Holman, Jorge Gutiérrez and Branden Lee Frazier led a fourth quarter run that threatened to make things interesting down the stretch.


However, a 15-second 5-0 run from Minas on buckets from Borges and Felipe Vezaro brought calm to the home fans and allowed them to coast into the final buzzer.

Minas finished with a 49-34 edge on the boards and limited Libertadores to just 14 second-chance points.

All in all, the Brazilians held Omar Quintero's squad to 41.9 percent from the field and just 78 points, well below their 99.2 points per game average coming into the game.

Besides their stars, Minas also got solid contributions from Alexandre Paranhos (8 points and 11 rebounds) and Renan Lenz (11 points and 6 boards).

Libertadores finished with five different players scoring in double digits, led by Holman's 17. Frazier paced the bench attack with 16 points on 6/14 from the field, but Libertadores got very little production from known commodities like Juan Tello, Paul Stoll and Víctor Liz.

The series now heads north, where Libertadores will host Minas at Auditorio José Luis Arteaga in Querétaro, looking to even things up and force a third game. Another win from the Brazilians would send them straight into the Final 4.