Capitanes and Franca shine in Group B opening day
MEXICO CITY (DIRECTV Liga de las Americas 2019) – Capitanes of Mexico and Franca of Brazil, were victorious in the first day of the DIRECTV Liga de las Americas Group B, which takes place in the gymnasium Juan de la Barrera in Ciudad de Mexico.
The Cuban power forward Ismael Romero was unstoppable with 33 points, nine rebounds and captained the triumph of Capitanes over Real Esteli of Nicaragua, 93-82.
Romero showed resilience when he scored two consecutive baskets during the last quarter of the game, for his team to retake the lead 71-68.
Dominican Rigoberto Mendoza also shined with 18 units, including a crucial triple with 1:04 minutes left, which gave the Capitanes tranquility by stretching the difference to 89-80.
Despite the defeat, Estelí left a good impression. The Nicaraguan club, which has five Puerto Ricans on its roster, in addition to coach Carlos Gonzalez, after giving in the first half by 27-18 and 44-32, in the third act went to the front (63-61) of the hand of the Puerto Ricans, with a 31-17 quarter.
Guillermo Díaz and Isaac Sosa, both Puerto Ricans, loaded Estelí with 24 and 17 points respectively. His compatriot Miguel Alí Berdier, added 14.
Franca flaunted great depth with a solid game on both sides of the court that far exceeded for a 91-68 victory over Soles de Mexicali, in the first game of the day.
The Brazilians started the match with an 11-0 run and that's where they led the way. The Liga Sudamericana champion dominated the first quarter 29-14 and the second 48-34. Soles reacted in the third period with good effectiveness from long distance and reduced the difference to 10 points (67-57), but with good defense at crucial moments and the number of offensive variants of the Paulistas, was the determining factor to increase the advantage and achieve the victory.
A total of five men achieved double digits in points by Franca, of which the center Lucas Cipolini (17 points and 10 rebounds) and the power forward Lucas Dias (15 counters and 10 sacks), were the most outstanding. Then, David Jackson, Jimmy De Oliveira and Didi, added 14 points each. Also, the base Alexey had a good contribution from the bank with nine points and seven assists.
This Saturday, Franca will face Real Estelí and then Soles will face Capitanes.