Quimsa betting on history in Final 4
MIAMI (United States) – In a short period of time, Quimsa have solidified themselves as one of the continent's most important teams thanks to their continued success in Basketball Champions League Americas. The Santiago del Estero, Argentina, squad won the tournament's first edition during the 2019-20 season and will now participate in their third semifinals, also known as the Final 4.
The Argentinians, the only non-Brazilian team in the Final 4 to be played on April 14-15, will face the hosts Sesi Franca at Ginásio Pedrocão. Flamengo and Minas will battle in the other semifinal.
Quimsa arrived at this instance after finishing first in Group B with a 5-1 record and then sweeping Real Estelí 2-0 in the quarterfinals. However, their opponent is undefeated in BCL Americas (8-0) and haven't lost a game this season in Brazil in more than 30 games played. The Brazilians will also be playing at home, adding another layer of trouble for the Argentinians.
The degree of difficulty is very high, but Quimsa are ready to defend their reputation, relying on their history of success in the competition.
"We're coming off a very good group stage. In every game, both at home and away, we played the same way, trying to impose our will and achieving it. Then, against Real Estelí, we played solid defense, we were able to run the floor and set the pace," said team captain Mauro Cosolito.
However, the 34-year-old knows that against Sesi Franca they'll probably have to do even more.
"We know about their quality, the players they have and their stars. They're a great team. But we also know we have our own. Against Brazilians teams, you have to dominate in several aspects of the game. They have more size and big men who can shoot. We have to neutralize those things and if we're able to, I think we can compete and in a single game, make it go in our favor," added Cosolito, who averages 7.1 points per game and 44.1 percent from beyond the arc.
Head coach Leandro Ramella, who made his debut in BCLA during the quarterfinals after Juan Manuel Córdoba was fired, also thinks that in a winner-take-all game anything can happen, but that they'll need to reach their highest level possible.
“To beat a team like Franca, the margin of error has to be very low and you have to play to the limit of your abilities. I think we have the roster to do that and in this instance, it's just a single game, and whoever plays best that day has great chance of advancing to the final," he said.
An additional source of motivation for Quimsa is that, along with Flamengo, they have the chance of becoming the first team to be crowned champions multiple times at the event.
"We are the Argentinian team that once again went furthest in BCLA and we like that, but we don't want to settle there. We want to go for more, we want to reach the final," Cosolito said. "It being just one game, even if it's on the road, anything can happen, so we hope to be in good shape on that day, be confident and solid. We've played great road games too."