08 December, 2023
14 April, 2024
33 Fabián Ramírez (QSA)
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Former champions Quimsa, Flamengo advance to BCLA Final

SANTIAGO DEL ESTERO (Argentina) – Quimsa and Flamengo, a pair of regional giants and former Basketball Champions League Americas winners, made good on their status as on-paper favorites on Saturday to reach the Season 5 final.

The clubs got past Halcones de Xalapa (Mexico) and Hebraica Macabi (Uruguay), respectively, and will face each other on Sunday at Estadio Ciudad in Santiago del Estero.

The advantage of both teams in experience and depth proved too much for their opponents, who had both reached the BCLA Final 4 for the first time.

This is how the games unfolded:

Halcones 87-90 Flamengo

In typical BCLA fashion, Flamengo had to survive a rollercoaster of an afternoon to defeat Halcones de Xalapa, 90-87, en route to the Final.

The Brazilians led by as many as 18 points early in the third quarter before the Mexican club uncorked a 22-4 run to erase the deficit – essentially resetting the destiny of the game.

The teams then traded leads, with Halcones getting a 64-59 edge early in the 4th quarter. But just when it seemed Paco Olmos’ squad had all the momentum, Flamengo regained their composure, kickstarting an exhilarating flurry where both teams traded buckets and leads.


Franco Balbi scored 15 of his 19 points down the stretch, looking like he had ice in his veins as he helped Flamengo protect the lead with tough layups, clutch free throws and key assists. He finished with 7 assists, 3 rebounds and a pair of steals.

The game was only close due to the heroics of Jordan Glynn who, after going scoreless in the first half, poured 19 in the third to bring Halcones back. He finished with a game-high 26 points on 9/14 from the field, including 6/8 from long distance. He added 9 rebounds.


Both teams shot exceptionally well from beyond the arc, with Flamengo going 11/23 and Halcones shooting 14/34. The squads also combined for just 19 turnovers, another sign of how both offenses were humming throughout the night.

In the end, Flamengo was just a bit more accurate from the field and the free throw line, while also boasting a 38-22 advantage in the paint that was enough to tip the scales.


Quimsa 89-75 Hebraica Macabi

In the second game of the night, Quimsa gave the boisterous home crowd a big reason to celebrate, dismantling Hebraica Macabi, 89-75, to get to the deciding game on Sunday against Flamengo.

The visiting squad led at the end of the first quarter, but star big man Franklin Hassell getting in foul trouble sparked a 17-4 run that allowed the Argentinians to take control of the game.

Quimsa then extended the lead to 18 points in the third quarter and back again in the fourth, cruising to a comfortable double-digit victory.

It was a true team performance, with 5 different players scoring in double digits. Emiliano Basabe (14 points and 5 rebounds) and Juan Brussino (14 points and a pair of assists) led the way, while Fabián Ramírez 11 points and 7 boards. Tayavek Gallizzi and Fortunato Rolfi added 12 points apiece for a team that shot 52.9 percent from the floor.


Hebraica had jumped in front in the first quarter behind 14 points from Jordan Williams, but the team stagnated on both ends of the floor as Hassell, Ernesto Oglivie and Juan Ducasse got in foul trouble.

Williams finished with a game-high 25 points on 7/15 from the field, while Luciano Parodi had 14 points and 6 assists. Oglivie added 11 points and 8 boards.


However, Quimsa’s bench outscored their opponents by 29-10. That, on top of a massive 54-28 edge in points in the paint, proved to be too much to overcome for Hebraica despite going 20/22 at the charity stripe.


3 things to watch in BCL Americas final

  • For the first time in tournament history, BCLA will have a repeat champion. With Quimsa taking the inaugural edition back in 2019-20 and Flamengo lifting the trophy in 2021, one of these teams will be the first to win multiple crowns. The game will also be a reenactment of that first final, where the Argentinians prevailed 92-86 at Antel Arena in Montevideo. A handful of players will face each other again, with Fabián Ramírez and Brandon Robinson still representing Quimsa while Balbi and Olivinha remain on Flamengo’s squad.
  • Flamengo’s depth gives them a very high floor and a big margin of error. This was on full display on Saturday, when Guilherme Deodato and Balbi had great performances and made up for more pedestrian (for their standards) nights from Gabriel Galvanini, Kayo Manfio and Martín Cuello. The Brazilians have multiple options at every position, up to and including the presence of 40-year-old Olivinha, who came off the bench and contributed a couple of key buckets in the win against Halcones. Scott Machado and Devon Scott also had quiet games but are veterans capable of stepping up at any moment.
  • Meanwhile, Quimsa can match Flamengo’s depth and experience, and they will be supported by a crowd that surely won’t miss the fact that this is, in a way, another Argentina-Brazil affair. However, Gallizzi, Ramírez, Eduardo Vasirani and Federico Zezular will have to work overtime to bridge the size gap against Flamengo’s taller frontcourt. The Argentinians will also need a vintage performance from Robinson, who had 9 points, 4 rebounds and 5 assists on Saturday, but scored a game-high 26 in the final against Flamengo in 2020.