Bauru (BRA)
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Brazil internationals lead Bauru to Liga Sudamericana glory

BAURU (Liga Sudamericana) - Bauru lived up to their tag as Liga Sudamericana favorites by rolling to the title in front of their own fans on Thursday night.

In an all-Brazilian affair against Mogi das Cruzes, the Final Four hosts went on an 18-4 run over the last 4:45 of the opening quarter to claim a 25-11 lead and then blew the contest wide open in the second quarter en route to a 79-53 triumph.

One of Brazil's FIBA Basketball World Cup centers, Rafael Hettsheimer led Bauru with 18 points and teammate Robert Day continued his scintillating shooting with a four-of-five effort from behind the arc on his way to 13 points.

Alex Garcia finished with 12 points, eight assists and five rebounds for Bauru.

A former winner of the competition with Uniceub Brasilia, Alex was named MVP of the Liga Sudamericana.

"We knew the strengths of the Mogi team," Hettsheimer said. 

"We went onto the court and got a good lead right away. We were focused for 40 minutes and that was the difference for us. 

"We are harvesting the fruit (of our labor) now, but we can not forget that there is a long way to go in the season with the National Basketball League and the FIBA Americas League."

Bauru, coached by Jorge Guerra, won all nine of their games in this year's competition.

Mogi, who edged Boca Juniors in overtime in Tuesday's Semi-Finals, led Bauru 5-4 after a Shamell Stallworth three-ball.

The 2013 FIBA Americas League MVP scored again with 5:10 remaining in the first quarter for a 7-6 advantage.

Bauru then seized command. A couple of baskets from Brazil internationals Alex and Larry Taylor put them on top at 10-7.

Alex followed with a three-pointer before point guard and Ricardo Fischer and Hettsheimer added baskets for a 17-7 lead.

With Mogi reeling, Stallworth drew a foul and sank two free-throws to cut the deficit to eight, but Day ended up connecting from long range twice in the last 33 seconds of the first quarter to give Bauru a 25-11 lead.

Day hit another shot from beyond the arc in the first minute of the second quarter for a 28-13 advantage and Bauru went on to outscore the visitors 20-11 in the frame for a 45-22 lead at half-time.

Mogi got no closer than 20 points in the second half.