03 October, 2017
14 December
19 Heissler Guillent (VEN)
to read

Preview Group C: Continental club competition royalty sets foot in Bahia

BAHIA (DIRECTV Liga Sudamericana 2017) - DIRECTV Liga Sudamericana’s Group C is ready for action in Bahia, Brazil, with the participation of four continentally-renowned clubs, such as Estudiantes de Concordia (Argentina), Club Malvín (Uruguay), Americas champions Guaros de Lara (Venezuela) and hosts Universo/Vitoria (Brazil).

Estudiantes de Concordia arrive at Group C after launching their 3-5 participation in the renewed Super 20 format of their national league. In the Sudamericana, they’re currently occupying Group A’s third position. Dominican player Rigoberto Mendoza is the squad's leader in scores, with a 14.1-point average per game for a team that has showcased a great offensive balance, as well as an important contribution by the team's substitutes. Currently, this is the third-best team in this area of the competition. Last year, the Argentine club had a spectacular season, competing at the Super 4 —a mid-season tournament in which the best four teams of the national league compete— under the guidance of coaches Dar Tucker (USA) and Javier Justiz (Cuba), who currently play for the Argentine champions of San Lorenzo. Estudiantes were defeated in the conference’s Semi-Finals, but their participation in the Super 4 earned them a spot in the DIRECTV Liga Sudamericana, where they arrive with a renewed squad under the wing of their new coach, Lucas Victoriano, a legendary Argentine former player.

Club Malvín arrives at Bahia with the record of most participations in the South American League by an Uruguayan Club. The side continues under veteran Nicolás Mazzarino’s leadership who, next to national teammate Marcel Souberbielle, the National Team’s guard Marcos Cabot and American players Frank Robinson and Darrius Garrett, complete a quintet that has begun the Regular Phase of the current edition of the National Uruguayan League with a 2-2 record. Mazzarino continues to be Malvín’s spearhead, as has been in the recent editions of the DIRECTV Liga de las Américas and the DIRECTV Liga Sudamericana, with an 8.5-point and 5.8 assist average per game in the National League’s start.

Guaros de Lara need no introduction. The Venezuelan club, twice consecutive champions of the DIRECTV Liga de las Américas, return to the Sudamericana in search of the Horacio Muratore Cup, the only prize this organization has failed to reach in its recent years of international success. The team’s core remains intact, with Heissler Guillént, Luis Bethelmy, Néstor Colmenares, Gregory Echenique and José Vargas; and with the new acquisition of Nate Robinson, who’s well known by his great NBA career, where he played 11 seasons and peaked with 3 titles in the league's Slam Dunk Contest. Guaros is coming from winning their national league, the DIRECTV Liga de las Américas, and facing Iberostar Tenerife, who are the reigning champions of the Basketball Champions League in the Intercontinental Cup. The Venezuelan side are, without a doubt, the competition’s favorites. They're now coached by Argentine Fernando Duró, who incorporated this season in that role.

Universo/Vitoria are the hosts, as well as the great surprise and mystery of the Brazilian teams that have participated in this edition of the DIRECTV Liga Sudamericana. Both Flamengo and Pinheiros, who have qualified to the Semi-Finals, bring to the table a history of international success and familiar faces —two aspects that are not present at the club that hosts the competition's group phase. Universo/Vitoria is a club with only two years of Brazilian National League experience, but the team have reached the post-season on both occasions. Murilo Becker and Arthur Belchior stand out like two veterans with a great history in international club competitions, and are now part of a team that reached Semi-Finals in the past edition of league. They now intend to repeat the feat in the Sudamericana stage.

The action of the DIRECTV Liga Sudamericana 2017’s Group C, when Guaros de Lara face Estudiantes de Concordia at 6:45 PM (Host City Hour), followed by Universo/Vitoria against Malvín at 9:00 PM.

The competition's Semi-Finals already have Flamengo (Brazil) and Cimarrones del Chocó (Colombia) qualified for Group A, and Pinheiros (Brazil) and Quilmes de Mar del Plata (Argentina) in Group B.

For more information and the competition's most complete coverage, follow @ligamericas in social media.