17 January, 2019
31 March
32 David Jackson (FCA)
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Franca stepped on the gas, finished leader of Group B

MEXICO CITY (DIRECTV Liga de las Americas 2019) - Brazil's Franca (3-0) defeated Capitanes de México (2-1), 94-86 and finished as leader of Group B of the DIRECTV Liga de las Americas.

Both teams had already earned their qualification to the Semi-Final Phase following impressive wins on the second day of the preliminary group; nevertheless, they did not lower the intensity and fought with everything for the triumph.

The hosts lost the first quarter 24-22, but the team went oin to win the second and third quarter 49-43 and 74-62, thanks to its intensity in defense and the internal game of Panamanian Ernesto Oglivie. That performance made them dream of the conquest; however, Franca left the best for last moments of the game.

The paulistas recovered the defensive order and moved the ball as they usually do to find the best placed man, and in that way, they mounted a 32-12 run in the last 10 minutes, to finish the group undefeated.

David Jackson was decisive in scoring a three-pointer with 2:44 left, which put the Brazilians up by 86-82. Then, he completed a three-point play to extend the difference to 91-84 with 1:16 to play.

Point guard Elinho put the bolt to the meeting with a left-handed lay-up with 56 seconds left.

Lucas Dias, with 22 points, was the top scorer for the Paulista team, who for the third day had at least five men with double digits. Lucas Cipolini added 18 and Jackson finished with 16.

"We wanted the victory. We knew it would not be easy, they were at home, but this team is a family, every day someone appears, before it was Jimmy (De Oliveira), then Cipolini, today it was Jackson and me. We did not despair even though we were down," Dias analyzed after the match.

"The important thing is the qualification and finishing first because that gives us confidence for what is coming," added the player.

For the Aztecs, Oglivie finished with 22 points and Gabriel Girón, who had to leave with an ailment in one foot, left 13 points.

"The main objective was to qualify. It is very motivating for the organization to have moved on to the next phase. The priority of this team, beyond the results, is to bring basketball to all sides of the city, to go to schools, for people to come to the stadium. That is the greatest achievement of Capitanes. In little more than a year we reached the final of the Mexican National League and now we are going to compete with the best eight of the continent" said coach Ramón Díaz.

"Franca is one of the favorites. They showed a great collective game on both sides of the court. Facing rivals like this helps us measure ourselves," added the Spanish coach.

For his part, coach Helinho Rubens, spoke about the performance of his team, who qualified to this continental competition following their DIRECTV Liga Sudamericana title.

"The defense is our main characteristic, from there we build the attack. A good defense motivates you to have a solidary attack and that is what we always try to do. We had a great year to reach the title in the Paulista Championship and then the Liga Sudamericana. We are very motivated in this Liga de las Americas, we want to win the championship and then go to the Intercontinental Cup. That would be very important for us, we would mark a story," concluded Franca's strategist.

Soles de Mexicali (1-2) said goodbye with a victory over Real Estelí of Nicaragua 87-83 (0-3). The whole of Baja California recovered from a disadvantage that came to be of 11 points at the height of the third quarter to finish prevailing in a game in which there was nothing in dispute, more than sporting pride.

Luke Martinez led the Soles attack with 25 points, while forward Lance Goulbourne added 17, including the two free throws that put the definitive advantage, subtracting 13 seconds. For Estelí, Puerto Ricans Miguel Berdier, Ricky Sánchez and Isaac Sosa contributed 14 points each.