21 - 24
September 2023
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Meet the team: The last dance for Georginho and Sesi Franca

SINGAPORE (Singapore) - The Basketball Champions League Americas will be represented at FIBA Intercontinental Cup Singapore 2023 by one of South America's greatest of all time - Sesi Franca Basquete.

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Who are they?

Think locally, and you will find out that Sesi Franca Basquete are the record holders with 13 Brazilian championships to their name, including the 2023 season, when they won the League/Super 8 Cup double.

Think globally, and you will see that the Brazilian club is a two-time runner-up in the FIBA Intercontinental Cup, in 1975 and in 1980, and they also have four Pan American Club Championships, six South American Club Championships, one FIBA South American League and one BCL Americas title to their name.

We said one of South America's greatest of all time for a reason.

How did they get here?

The path to Singapore was blazed through the Basketball Champions League Americas. Sesi Franca Basquete won that competition in 2023 for the first time in club history, sweeping opponents in Regular Season Group D for a 6-0 record, and then knocking out Uruguay's Penarol 2-0 in their Play-Off Quarter-Finals series.

At the Final Four, which they hosted, Franca defeated Quimsa from Argentina in the Semi-Finals, and a Brazilian derby in the Final saw them edge out Flamengo 88-79, with Lucas Mariano winning the MVP of the season award.

Teammates Georginho and Lucas Dias joined him in the el Quinteto Ideal, the team of the season in the BCLA for 2022-23.

Why should we watch them?

The BCLA winners' most characteristic feature is their longevity, with coach Helinho entering his eighth season at the helm. The 28-year-old Lucas Dias is a club legend, and he just played in the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 with Brazil, along with 27-year-old explosive guard Georginho de Paula, helping their national team to a 13th spot finish in the big event.

Georginho will bid farewell to the club at the Singapore tournament. After the conclusion of FIBA Intercontinental Cup 2023 Singapore he will join his new club, embarking on a European adventure with the German League champions, ratiopharm Ulm.

If he can do anything similar to what his compatriots Bruno Caboclo and Yago Mateus did last season, Georginho could be destined for an impressive international career after the move to Ulm.

Alexey Borges has found his way back home to Franca after four seasons with Mogi Das Cruzes, Bauru and Minas, bringing along his 13 points and 6 assists per game. He will most certainly contribute a lot in the backcourt with his passing efficiency. 

Don't forget to keep an eye on the 41-year-old David Jackson. He is not slowing down even in his 16th season as a pro, and the 22 points in 27 minutes against Basket Osasco in August show that he can still shoot the lights out on a given day.

Who will they play in Singapore?

The competition tips off with Sesi Franca Basquete playing the Basketball Africa League winners Al Ahly in Group A action on September 22. They will go up against the rising stars of the NBA G League Ignite squad a day later, on September 23.

The winner of that three-team group will move to the Final, the second-placed team will fight for the third step of the podium against the runner-up from Group B, while the third-placed team will battle for fifth spot in the tournament against the bottom third-placed team from Group B.