Mexico 101, Venezuela 91
August 30, 2007 ï¿½ Las Vegas, Nevada
Behind a game-high 27 points from Anthony Pedroza, Mexico snapped a six game losing streak and defeated Venezuela 101-91 on Wednesday in Second Round action of the FIBA Americas Championship 2007.
Mexico trailed 50-46 at halftime, but outscored Venezuela 31-15 in the third quarter and led by as many as 21 in the final stanza. Venezuela has now lost two straight games.
Adam Parada de los Reyes and Victor Marsical combined for 40 points, as Mexico outworked Venezuela 48-32 in the paint.
Hector Romero scored 23 points in a losing effort for Venezuela.
GABRIEL RUDA, VENEZUELA ASSISTANT COACH
What were your expectations coming into this tournament?
We knew this tournament was not going to be easy, especially since all the teams had reinforcements this year and were all working extremely hard to prepare for this. We also made a brand new renovation with our team. I believe we actually have the youngest average team in this tournament. We are thinking on the future of our team. Once we finish here, our vision is already set for Turkey 2010. We have a very talented young team that has a lot of potential and a lot of international experience. We are already working on this next generation.
Can you comment on Romero's performance throughout this tournament?
Hector is much more than a player; he is a leader. He was not only a leader in court, but also gave personal advice for whoever needed in our organization. He is a great example of a player who has a great efficiency and assists percentage, and who is simply a great individual. I think if players work hard on being great individuals, the professional side will also go well.
MIGUEL ANGEL MARRIAGA HERRERA, VENEZUELA
How did you feel playing in this tournament?
I feel honored to have played in this tournament. The Pre-Olympics Americas in Vegas has been a great overall experience for me. Today, I feel we went into court a bit tired and unfocused. We even thought we might have an easy victory today, and that is why we lost this game.
I am a little happy, but not satisfied with our overall performance in this tournament. Our goal coming into this tournament was to reach the second round. Once we reached this goal, we just really wanted to win and get into the top four; unfortunately, we could not do that.
Can you comment on Romero's performance in this tournament?
Romero is a great player and a great teammate. His performance in this tournament was excellent. He always assisted us in every game, especially with his energy coming into court. I think he is a great overall player, but an even better individual.
NOLAN RICHARDSON, MEXICO HEAD COACH
Could you comment on the mood of the locker-room today after this victory?
I think it was just great being able to win our second ball game in this round of the tournament. I had noticed last night that Venezuela does not shoot the ball like the other teams do, so we worked on putting more guys around to rebound. Our biggest disaster is not being able to rebound these teams, but I am happy to say that today we were able to do so. The other important aspect of today's game was the fact that we shot the ball better. We shot fifty percent of the field, forty-seven percent from the tree-point line, and seventy-seven percent at the free-throw line. When we do those kinds of things, our chances of winning are a lot better.
Do you have plans to retire after this tournament?
Did you just say if I have plans to retire? I am already retired. I actually came out of retirement for this tournament to help Mexico. I am still retired, just out of retirement at the moment in hopes to help Mexico go to the Olympics. We will have to wait for the next games to see the results, but I am happy that we were able to go to El Salvador, get the gold medal and pick up quite a few victories before we got here. We beat a strong Puerto Rico team and played well against the US in this tournament, and even tough we didn't do very well in the middle, our guys finished on a winning note.
HORACIO LLAMAS, MEXICO
Can you comment on your overall experience so far?
It has been great. We didn't think that when we were playing Puerto Rico we were going to play that well and win; and then to think that just two days later we would come to lose to Panama. At that time we started to question our game. How come we are not running as fast, going for the rebounds and making more shots? It was fatigue, and after fatigue come serious injuries. So I think we actually did pretty well since none of us got seriously hurt in a tournament that is so fast paced as this. I just wish the coaches and the players could have worked more together before to prepare us better for this tournament. Our plan is still to be in the top five, and that is why we are working hard every day.
ANTHONY JAMES PEDROZA DURAZO, MEXICO
Can you comment on your performance today?
I kind of knew this would be our last day, and because of this we tried to come in strong in order to finish on a winning note. Today, we just tried to keep pushing and get out on a win.