Uruguay Closes Out Tournament With Third Straight Victory
June 30, 2010 • San Antonio, Texas
Powered by Mathias Calfani’s 32 points and 14 reboundss, Uruguay (3-2) capped its 2010 FIBA Americas U18 Championship on a three-game winning streak after downing Puerto Rico (1-4) to finish in fifth place on Wednesday afternoon in San Antonio, Texas.
“I’m happy and very proud of the team that I chose,” said Uruguay head coach Fernando Cabrera. “Everything was left at the tournament. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, and that’s the tournament. When you don’t take things for granted, that’s when you find a sense of accomplishment. It’s the seventh year I am coach of the national team. I have been here in San Antonio in 2006 in the Tournament before. One keeps gaining experience and learning and transmitting the energy in the best way.”
The first quarter, which featured five lead changes and three tied scores, was a tight affair that ended with Uruguay up 21-19. In the second quarter Uruguay slowly and methodically pulled to a 10-point lead, 39-29, to close out the half. In the second half Puerto Rico made a few runs, but Uruguay held the islanders at bay to earn the win.
“Before the game I spoke to my coach to prepare mentally and play hard,” said Calfani. “I wanted to take advantage of the energy that came with the game. It served to unite the team and it was really important to win today.
“The last game was very special for us,” continued Calfani. “For Uruguay it was something very big because we are playing with countries with big objectives. To be here in a tournament like this is a dream come true. I’m going to take home the experience of being in a beautiful country like the United States, and the people are very kind and beautiful as well. In Uruguay these types of tournaments are not held. I’m going to tell everyone about the experience I had in America.”
In addition to Caltani’s 32 points, Ivan Loriente scored 22 and Luciano Parodi tossed in 12.
Puerto Rico was led by Chris Ortiz, who scored 16 points, Emmanuel Ardugar and DeJuan Marrero had 12 apiece and Gary Browne added 10.