Thursday, August 23, 2007

FIBA Americas-- Uruguay 88, Panama 84 (OT)

- Was not the easiest game to watch with so many fouls called which led to a very choppy game, and poor shooting by both teams did not help. But things started to pick up late in the 4th, Atlanta's Esteban Batista came up big with a runner to send the game into overtime. The Uruguay took over in overtime executing sharply to finish off Panama.

- Panama really killed themselves at the foul line going 17/36, with plenty of misses down the stretch; though, this is not too surprising since that haven't been good on the line in recent years. Combine the 47% ft shooting with 25 TOs, and usually good times don't follow. Uruguay might have made it easier on themselves if they would have just decided to switch to zone in the 1st half. Panama was doing all their damage off of attacking the paint or post-ups from Lloreda. While it was obvious Panama has no one who can shoot from past 15 feet, so why we saw no zone from Uruguay, I'm not sure.

- As we mentioned in our preview, Panama is a poor shooting team, and they really lived up to it today--3/19 from 3pt. It's not that they just shoot a bad pct., it's that all their players just have very ugly shooting mechanics. Though, Panama did a nice job on defense for most of the game. They did as good as a job collapsing onto Batista as you can ask & they did a tremendous job shadowing Mazzarino, and gave him very little daylight.

- Esteban Batista did a horrible job finishing off close shots in the 1st half, he might have finished with 40 if he just converted some of these chippies. He did have multiple defenders around him all game, but he still had plenty of clean looks that he just blew. But his big body allowed him to be a bull on the boards (19 total, 7 off) & draw fouls all game.

- SG Nicolas Mazzarino's hair-trigger release came in handy because he had defenders draped all over him for most of the game. I liked how he did not force things too much only taking 11 shots, but when he did shoot, he's pretty automatic--7/11 overall, 4/6 from 3pt for 25 pts. Panama did do a great job hounding Mazzarino, not giving him much space, and it's just a testament to how good he is that he managed 25 pts under tough circumstances.

- Big PG Martin Osimani (ex-Duquense) had a nice floor game (10 pts, 7 rebs, 3 asst, & 3 stls), and especially came up big in the 2nd half controlling the offense & wisely picking his spots to score--had a few nice drives late & 7 pts in OT. And Leandro Garcia-Morales (ex-Tex A&M) was the catalyst for Uruguay's 2nd half comeback, thanks mostly to his superb defensive play. Uruguay came out after halftime and really turned up the pressure in the 3rd which led to a boatload of Panama TOs. Garcia-Morales led the Uruguay run with his relentless ball pressure & all-around tenacity that led to 4 steals. Mauricio Aquiar also pitched in 12 pts, and some big offensive plays late in the game.

- Former LSU standout Jaime Lloreda was tough inside & out in the 1st half, but he cooled off in the 2nd half partly because of foul trouble--Jaime ended with 21 & 8 on 10/14. Uruguay had a hard time dealing with JR Pinnock's athleticism, and he got to where he wanted in the 1st half--JR ended with 16 & 9 rebs. But when Uruguay did a better job keeping Pinnock on the perimeter his major weakness was exposed--he was 0/6 from 3pt.

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