20 - 26
May 2016
14 Waleska PEREZ (Venezuela)
to read

Venezuela and Brazil will face off for South American Gold

BARQUISIMETO (South American Women’s Championship) – The Semifinals of the 2016 South American Women’s Championship delivered, with two competitive match-ups that ended up being defined in the last minutes of play as Brazil and Venezuela defeated Argentina and Colombia respectively to move on to the Gold medal game of the tournament.

Brazil won the first semifinal against Argentina by the score of 73-57, a difference that does not tell the story of the game. The Argentineans were in it for third quarters with a distributed offensive attack led by veteran Gisela Vega and point guard Melisa Gretter who closed tied the game with a big three pointer going into the last 10 minutes of play.

Then came the fourth, a complete domination from a Brazilian team that won the quarter by the score of 22-6 with good defense and consistent scoring from Palmira and center Nadia in the paint. Argentina could not produce and in the last three minutes of play the lead became too much to overcome. Brazil will play their 28th consecutive Gold Medal game dating back to 1965.

Palmira was the leading scorer with 18 points, while her teammate Nadia was impressive tallying a double-double with 13 points and 12 rebounds in the win.

In the closer, Venezuela added to their historic run by beating Colombia, 67-59, and advancing to their first-ever Gold Medal game. It was an up and down affair, with the Colombians putting up a very good battle anchored by Mabel Martinez in a resilient and gutsy performance. Venezuela stayed in the lead for the whole game with big baskets from captain Ivaney Marquez, Waleska Perez and Roselis Silva, who were quick enough and efficient enough from long distance to dismantle Colombia’s length in the frontcourt.

In the fourth, after being down by 17, Colombia made a big run and was able to bring it within 5 points but Venezuela’s isolation became too much for a short-rotation tired team that could not keep up. The host closed the deal and advance to the Gold Medal of what has been a tournament-performance for  the ages.

Perez came up huge with 17 points and 10 rebounds in the win.

In the first game of the evening, Paraguay defeated Ecuador by the score of 72-52 to end up with the 5th place of the championship. Maria Mercado closed a very good individual edition by putting on a fantastic 19 points, 9 rebounds and 8 assists performance.

Tomorrow, the Bronze medal game between Argentina and Colombia will open the day, while Brazil will face off against host Venezuela for the Gold Medal game in the closer.

Both games can be seen live online via livebasketball.tv (subscription required).