Mar del Plata, Argentina - Dominican Republic got the bronze medal after beating Puerto Rico 103 to 89. For the winning team the best player was Al Horford with 23 points and 12 rebounds. For Puerto Rico Daniel Santiago had 25 points being the highest scorer of the game.
From the start the Dominicans started better, with Horford and Martinez dominating the paint and with Garcia scoring from the outside, having a score of 21-9. For the Puerto Rican team, Arroyo and Barea were looking to get the score closer. A three-pointer from Galindo shortened the lead, but those coached by Calipari were effective and with a three-pointer from Baez they ended the quarter 27-12 in the first quarter.
At the start of the second quarter a 5-0 run from Ramon with baskets from outside the paint stretched the lead of the Dominicans 32-12. Puerto Rico found Santiago who with four straight points tried to wake up his team. But another three-pointer from Garcia got the scoreboard 39-16. The game changed, the two teams got calmer and Puerto Rico being erratic (13/35 shots from the court in the first half). That is why the Dominican Republic went to half time 53 to 29.
The second half continued with Horford and Martinez being precise and dominating the paint. Puerto Rico tried to react with outside the paint shots from Galindo. But a three-pointer from Ramon got the scoreboard 70-47 and the game seemed to be over. With pure heart the Puerto Ricans tried to get ahead with Santiago as leader. A two-pointer from Arroyo got the difference 59-76. Calipari’s team weakened, and a 6-0 run from Puerto Rico shortened the difference and closed the quarter 68-80.
The last quarter started equally for both teams, but the Dominicans did not rush and started controlling the game with Horford dominating in both side. Puerto Rico tried getting into the game with the will of Arroyo and Santiago. But the Dominicans in no moment loosed their calmness and won it 103-89.
Gaston Schafer / FIBA Americas
Photo: Jose Jimenez