Peñarol gets back on track; Franca remains unbeaten
MIAMI (United States) – The second stage of the 2022-23 Basketball Champions League Americas continued Saturday with wins from still undefeated Franca (3-0) over Universidad de Concepcion and Peñarol, who recovered from a blowout the night before to beat Instituto. Here's how the matches played out:
Peñarol put on the perfect display of the "next game" mentality on Saturday, defeating Instituto (Argentina) 89-80 merely hours after losing by 56 points to Flamengo the day prior.
After a back-and-forth start to the game at Tijuca Tenis Clube in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), the Uruguayans took the lead midway through the second quarter and never looked back, notching a crucial victory in Group C of the 2022-23 Basketball Champions League Americas.
Pablo López's squad was able to establish its dominance in the painted area, and their 40-30 advantage basically mirrored the difference in the final score.
And they did it by leaning on big man Lee Roberts, who led the way with 21 points on 8/9 from the field and 5/6 from the charity stripe.
Roberts proved to be a wonderful pick-and-roll partner to point guard Juan Zanotta.
The Uruguayan guard not only had 8 of his team's 19 assists but also proved to be deadly with his outside shot. Zanotta went 5/8 from beyond the arc en route to his 18 points.
Instituto fought throughout the whole game and got within a bucket on a three-pointer from Nicolás Copello with 2:31 to go, but Zanotta answered with a long-range strike of his own to start a game-clinching 7-0 run for the black and yellow.
Nicolás Romano led the charge by scoring 14 of his 20 points in the second half. The veteran power forward added 6 rebounds, a pair of assists and a steal.
Argentina National Team stalwart Tayavek Gallizzi contributed 12 points and 7 boards, while Copello (13), Mateo Chiarini (12) and Gastón Elías (10) also scored in double figures for a team that sorely missed center Phillip Lockett.
With the win, Peñarol improved to 2-2 while Instituto fell to 1-2. The Argentinians will play group leaders Flamengo on Sunday.
Franca confirmed their Group D supremacy with another solid performance, defeating Universidad de Concepcion 83-76 Saturday night at Estadio Obras Sanitarias in Buenos Aires (Argentina).
The Brazilian squad led most of the way in what turned out to be a closer-than-expected affair and withstood the Chileans best efforts to pull a potential upset.
Georginho De Paula made it look easier than it actually was, delivering a stellar showing that fell just short of a triple-double.
The Brazilian playmaker finished with 16 points, 11 rebounds and six assists.
De Paula, David Jackson and Santiago Scala combined for 19 of Franca's 26 assists and that crisp ball movement (only 9 turnovers) allowed Hélio Rubens' squad to walk away victorious despite shooting just 5/29 from beyond the arc.
Where they did shine was in the painted area, outscoring UDEC 42-34 thanks to the contributions of their Lucas-themed interior duo.
While neither had their outside shot going (they combined for 1/13 from outside the arc), Lucas Dias led his team with 18 points and Lucas Mariano added 13 points and 6 rebounds.
Jackson added 13 for the only undefeated team in the group.
UdeC went as far as Eugenio Luzcando could take them.
The Panamanian guard scored 10 points in the first quarter as UdeC mostly kept pace with Franca but went scoreless in the second quarter as the Brazilians pulled away.
Luzcando then scored 18 of his game-high 28 points in the second half to keep his team within striking distance.
The 27-year-old shot 6/9 from three-point territory and added three rebounds, four assists and three steals to his final stat line.
UdeC got solid contributions from their American stars (Jerry Evans Jr. had 11 points and 9 rebounds while Reyshawn Terry finished with 16) and a 10-point, 10-board double-double from Venezuelan Carlos Milano but were unable to get over the hump.
In the end, the free throw (nine attempts to Franca's 21) and turnover (14 to 9) deficits proved to be too costly to close the gap.
Franca (3-0) will now face an Obras Sanitarias (1-2) team in dire need of a victory at home on Sunday. UceC fell to 1-3 in Group D.