20 - 26
May 2016
5 Roselis SILVA (Venezuela)
to read

Venezuela remains undefeated and claims first place in Group B with historic win over Argentina

BARQUISIMETO (South American Women’s Championship) – The fourth day of competition in the 2016 South American Championship was a classic, highlighted by Colombia’s domination of Paraguay and one of the greatest games in the history of the competition when Venezuela defeated Argentina for the first time in women’s basketball.

Chile started the day by defeating Uruguay, 68-53, in what was a contested match-up for the first three quarters of the game. Both teams exchanged baskets until Tatiana Gomez took over in the paint. Uruguay stayed in the game, but it wasn’t enough and Chile earned their first victory in the 2016 South American Women’s Championship in large part due to a dominating performance in the boards (Chile had 51 rebounds to Uruguay’s 31).

Gomez was sensational as the key player for the Chilean team with 19 points and 15 rebounds.

Ecuador was also able to get on the scoreboard of the competition with a win over Peru by the score of 85-57, securing the third place in Group B and as a result will play for the fifth position of the 2016 South American Women’s Championship. Peru looked much better than in their previous appearance against Argentina, but Ecuador came out with an effective offensive display, shooting 50% from the field against only 33% from Peru. Ecuador was able to build a 10-point lead at the end of the first quarter and hold it for the rest of the game.

Ecuador’s leading scorer was Dayana Salcedo with 16 points in distributed attack that included six players scoring in double figures.

The third game of the day was the defining matchup in the Group Phase calendar, as it featured the two contending teams battling for the tie-breaking that would virtually determine the second place in Group A. And Colombia was able to pull of the important victory by taking full advantage of their strengths against an inspired but shorthanded Paraguayan team. Colombia simply put is a taller and more physical squad and did not hesitate in establishing it early in the second quarter.

Their strategy: Give the ball to center Narlyn Mosquera and let her work in the paint. And it worked. Mosquera scored 23 points with 7 rebounds and had the most dominating performance in the championship so far. Colombia won it by the score of 92-58 and has virtually claimed the second place of the group (they still have to beat Uruguay and have Brazil beat Paraguay, but it’s what is expected in a tournament that is not full of surprises).

Mabel Martinez’ performance should not be lost in Mosquera’s domination. Her teammate had an impressive stat line with 19 points, 7 rebounds and 8 assists in the win.

The main event did not fail to deliver. Argentina vs. Venezuela was one of the best games in the history of the competition with a crowded Domo Bolivariano hanging on every made and miss from both competing teams. Argentina started off with their trademark patience, moving the ball and establishing a tempo that led them to build an 11-point lead, 36-25, by the end of the first half.

Venezuela came out strong in the third quarter and with an incredible shot-making ability from captain Ivaney Marquez and Roselys Silva was able to get back in the game and take the lead 51-50 into the final 10 minutes of play. The fourth quarter was a low-scoring affair that was defined by two key three-pointers from each team, one from Marquez and one from Argentina’s Melisa Gretter that sent the game to overtime.

In overtime, Daniela Wallen was big for the host in the rebounding department and with effective aggressiveness on the offensive side, scoring 4 points to close the show. Venezuela won it by the score of 71-67, their first-ever victory against Argentina in women’s basketball and secured the first place in Group B moving on to the semifinals.

Marquez led Venezuela with 23 points and 6 rebounds in the win.

Tomorrow in the last day of group play, Brazil will take on Paraguay, while Colombia faces Uruguay.