Puerto Rico Star J.J. Barea
- Victor Casarreal Salcido
- Direct from Guadalajara
In a very exciting match at the CODE dome, Puerto Rico ended the Mexican quest for basketball gold in the continental competition.
The local team led at the end of the first quarter 21-19 with a great performance by team captain Victor Mariscal, who scored two triples for eight points total.
NBA champ JJ Barea and Reinaldo Walkman led the Islanders in a very physical match to level the score at 35 points at the end of the first half of play. Barea scored ten points while Walkman had twelve.
Mexico missed a couple of key three pointers to start the second half and Puerto Rico took advantage to open a 35-41 lead. That was when the fans really began supporting their team and coach Sergio Valdeomillos reacted calling a time out to settle down his players. The third quarter ended 51-50.
The final quarter was both dramatic and intense. Mexico and Puerto Rico had the gold medal in their sights and no one was slowing down.
With the game tied 70-70 with less than a minute to play, Puerto Rico allowed JJ Barea to control the ball and the clock. For the win.
Mexico repeated the silver medal obtained at the Pan-Am games in La Havana 1991.
The 2011 Pan-Am Games via Terra
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