08 December, 2023
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Final 4: A pair of champions clash against a couple of first timers

SANTIAGO DEL ESTERO (Argentina) – The weekend of April 13-14 we’ll find out who is crowned as the new Basketball Champions League America champion after the completion of the Season 5 Final 4 at Estadio Ciudad in Santiago del Estero, Argentina where Quimsa will act as the host for the first time.

On Saturday 13th, the first Semifinal will feature first-time participants Halcones de Xalapa (MEX) going up against the 2020-21 champions, Flamengo (BRA), while in the other bracket, Hebraica Macabi (URU) will make its first appearance as they clash against Quimsa, who won the first edition of BCL Americas. The winners will vie for the title on Sunday 14th (22:10) and the losers will face each other in the third-place game (18:40).

 

These 2 battles will feature the experienced squads of a pair of former monarchs going against the brashness of a couple of newcomers looking to make history. This is all you need to know about each matchup:

Halcones de Xalapa vs. Flamengo

19:10 local time (GMT-3)

The Mexican squad has been performing at a formidable level on both ends of the floor but may lack rhythm given that their domestic league isn’t in-season yet, something that head coach Paco Olmos admitted that worries him. However, they’ve been competing under those circumstances all tournament and still found success. Halcones has a deep roster, with options across every position. Meanwhile, Flamengo also has many strengths and no discernible weaknesses. Their main weapon has been their defense, but that will now get tested against one of the more efficient offenses in the competition.

Statistical comparison:

HAL [HAL]   FLA [FLA]
89.3 PTS 86.0
81.6 PTS against 74.5
47.4% FG 43.7%
36.0% 3P 31.2%
71.9% FT 68.4%
36.6 REB 40.6
21.4 AST 19.8
9.9 STL 7.9
1.9 BLK 2.1
11.9 TO 10.0

 

Players to watch:

Seven different players are averaging double digits in points for Halcones, but forward Jordan Glynn has showed up in key moments and leads the team at 14.7 per game. His accuracy from the perimeter (56 percent on three-pointers) has been superlative and that’s where the defense must contain him. Other players capable of causing problems are veteran forward Gabriel Girón and Puerto Rican Tjader Fernández (12.1 points apiece). On the inside, Austrian big man Rasid Mahalbasic (11.1 points and 5.0 rebounds) has been a rock for the Mexican club.

On Flamengo’s side, power forward Gabriel Galvanini (17.3 points and 8.1 rebounds) is having his best season since he arrived at the club, becoming the fulcrum of the offense. Gui Deodato has been the perfect complement off the bench (12.9 points and 1.9 steals), while Didi Louzada (7.5 points) is a major talent who’s underperformed so far but could go off at any moment. A stage this big could bring out his best version.

What they said:

Paul Stoll, Halcones point guard: “It’s a game where anything can happen. From my perspective, it’ll be a tough and physical game, with a highly tactical component.”

Gabriel Galvanini, Flamengo power forward: “We must keep playing as a team and focusing on our defense. When the defense is set, our offense flows better.”

Quimsa vs. Hebraica Macabi

22:10 local time (GMT-3)

Quimsa, as the home team, looks like the favorite on paper. They’re a squad that developed great chemistry and move the ball really well to find open shots. They also take care of business on the boards, limiting second-chance opportunities, but will face an opponent like Hebraica Macabi that is very strong on the inside and has shown they can get inspired by a hostile crowd – like they did against reigning champions SESI Franca with a couple of wins on the road. For Quimsa, the key will be to make sure that no player off Hebraica’s bench becomes the X factor, and for the Uruguayans, it’ll come down to taking care of the ball.

Statistical comparison:

QSA [QSA]   HEB [HEB]
89.3 PTS 80.3
79.1 PTS against 86.8
46.2% FG 45.8%
37.1% 3P 35.6%
77.0% FT 80.6%
40.9 REB 37.3
21.3 AST 16.7
6.0 STL 6.2
2.5 BLK 2.0
11.8 TO 14.1

 

Players to watch:

Brandon Robinson is, without a doubt, Quimsa’s most dangerous man (17.0 points and 47 percent on three-pointers). The American veteran, besides his one-on-one prowess and great outside shot, also boasts a lot of experience in these instances and knows what it’s like to lift the trophy with the Argentinian club. A couple of pieces that must step up to control Macabi’s inside game are center Tayavek Gallizzi (12.0 points) and power forward Fabián Ramírez Barrios (10.4 points and 7.8 rebounds). Not to mention point guard Juan Brussino (11.3 points, 42 percent from beyond the arc and 4.5 assists), who’s quietly turned into one of the best of the region at his position.

For Hebraica Macabi, center Franklin Hassell (16.1 points and 9.8 rebounds) was the Most Valuable Players of the Quarterfinals. The 6’9 lefty big man will try to maintain his dominance in the paint. Panamanian power forward Ernesto Oglivie (16.3 points and 6.3 rebounds) will second him, providing both inside scoring and outside shooting, while point guard Luciano Parodi (12.8 points and 6.8 assists) will be at the controls and Jordan Williams (15.9 points) is expected to be the difference-maker attacking one-on-one.

What they said:

Fabián Ramírez Barrios, Quimsa power forward: "I think the key will be to focus on ourselves, on what we can do, especially on defense. We must be strong and play as a unit so that the offense can then flow.”

Luciano Parodi, Hebraica Macabi point guard: “We have to limit their perimeter players because they’re the ones who generate the most, and then impose our style, which is more focused on the inside, and from there create for everyone else.”

FIBA