Brazil beats Puerto Rico to win 2009 FIBA Americas ChampionshipPosted by Inside Hoops
Euroleague.net reports: Brazil held on to beat Puerto Rico 60-61 in a tense and exciting final to claim the gold medal at the FIBA Americas Championships in San Juan, Puerto Rico. All-Euroleague center Tiago Splitter of Caja Laboral shined with 13 points, 9 rebounds and 4 assists and Leandro Barbosa netted 24 to lead Brazil to the win. Brazil never trailed and led by as many as 16 in the third quarter, but Puerto Rico rallied and had a chance to win it at the buzzer. Barbosa scored 8 points during a 2-12 second-quarter run that helped Brazil to a 28-36 halftime advantage.
Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic reports (via blog): After sitting out Brazil’s final two quarterfinal round games, Barbosa returned to lead Brazil in scoring twice again. Barbosa posted 22 points in Saturday’s semifinal win against Canada and added 24 points in Sunday night’s gold medal game victory against host Puerto Rico. Playing at San Juan’s Coliseo Roberto Clemente, Brazil needed every one of Barbosa’s points in a 61-60 win. Barbosa scored 21 points in the first three quarters and had Brazil ahead 50-37 entering the fourth quarter, when he went cold with a 1-for-9 quarter that included misses on his last five attempts. For the game, Barbosa was 1 of 8 from 3-point range (9 of 23 overall) but he still outdueled Puerto Rico’s Carlos Arroyo, who scored 14 on 6-of-15 shooting and missed a 3-point shot to win the game.
Euroleague.net reports: Argentina dominated Canada from start to finish to claim the bronze medal with an 88-73 victory. Real Madrid playmaker Pablo Prigioni wrapped up a brilliant tournament with 17 points and 8 assists and former All-Euroleague power forward Luis Scola netted 27 points to lead the Argentinean charge. Scola finished the tournament in first place in scoring with 23.3 points per game, while Prigioni’s 7.4 assists per game was also best in the event.