It looked like it was going to be a magical night for Brazilian basketball. Against crowded Colicio Roberto Clemente, selection dominated most of the match against the hosts, Puerto Rico. But the hosts’ reaction in the fourth final, turned the game around and won by 75 to 72. This was Brazil’s second defeat in seven matches in the 2023 World Cup qualifiers. In the second, coach Gustavo de Conte’s team faces Mexico at 7:30. Evening, at Arena Jaraguá, in Santa Catarina.
Brazil suffered a surprise end of the match – Photo: Disclosure / FIBA
With 29 points, Tremont Waters was tonight’s top scorer in San Juan. Christopher Ortiz was another athlete who put in a great performance, scoring 15 points for the Puerto Ricans. On the Brazilian side, Lucas Dias scored 16 points, one point ahead of Leo Mendel. Rafa Luz also had an important participation that night and scored 10 goals.
With the defeat, Brazil took the position of deputy leadership of Group F, behind the United States, which went through the same campaign as the Brazilian national team until the beginning of the tour.
The game started there and here and with many rotations on the scoreboard. In three minutes, Didi Lozada helped Augusto Lima make the score 7-6 for Brazil. In the sixth, it was Lucas Dias’ turn to score 13-12 for the Brazilians. Giving was the password for control of Puerto Rico. So much so that, two minutes later, Leo Mendel kicked the score to three and made it 19 to 12. Managing the score well, Brazil finished in a fourth win by 24 to 15.
Puerto Rico started the second quarter better, opening 4-0. Brazil did not score until two minutes later in a hat-trick of Marcelino Huertas. Confident of himself, Huertas scored five more points in a row, becoming 29-24. And by three points, Javier Mojica reduced it to 29-26. A minute later, Plummer left the hosts behind to equalize by one point: 31-30. Brazil later woke up in fright, and in the sixth, Jorginho scored 36 to 31. Without the strength to start a new reaction before the break, Puerto Rico relegated to the locker room losing 43 to 36.
Didi Lozada faces the Puerto Rican flag – Photo: Disclosure/FIBA
Tremont scored the first two points of the third inning. Soon, George introduced two more to the Puerto Ricans. In two minutes, Leo Mendel opened the scoring for Brazil in the fourth. A minute later, Lucas Dias scored three goals, scoring 50-40. In the sixth, Tremont dropped to 52-48, setting the home crowd on fire. But, in the next step, Léo Meindl went into the immersion, calming the opponent’s reaction. Maintaining a comfortable lead, Brazil finished fourth with a partial win 59-52.
Puerto Rico, who played all or nothing in the match, played a strong tempo at the start of the last quarter, dropping to 59 to 56. Brazil only took a breath after a basket from Rafa Luz in the third minute. The home team did not give up, and in the next play, Tremont scored and fouled. When he converted the free throw, the lead was reduced to two points. In the fifth, Ortiz scored in the pass and reduced it to 64 to 63. Brazil, in turn, tried to respond with a basket of three by Rafa Luiz.
Leo Mendel tries to steer Brazil to the attack – Photo: Disclosure / FIBA
With the Puerto Rican crowd singing in abundance, the match panorama remained unchanged for the following minutes. Two minutes after the end, Tremont Waters tied 68 to 68. Soon, Tremont Waters pulled the score 70 to 70, leaving the end of the match completely open. With 57 seconds left, Tremont Waters, who always is, shot three targets and turned 73-70, setting the gym on fire. Brazil did not give up and went down 15 seconds ago with two free throws around by Lucas Dias. But Ethan Evan tried to win for Puerto Rico with two more free throws: 75 to 72.
Puerto Rico: Javier Mujica, Christopher Ortiz, Ethan Evan Thompson, Stephen Mark Thompson Jr. and Tremont Waters. Enter: George Condit, Timage Parker, Alfonso Plummer and Ismail Romero. Coach: Nelson Edgardo Colon Santiago.
Brazil: Lucas Dias, Marcelino Huertas, Rafa Luz, Leonardo Mendel and Yago Santos. Enter: Jorginho de Paula, Cristiano Felicio, Augusto Lima, Didi Lozada, and Rafa Mineiro. Coach: Gustavo de Conte.
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