Mexico Escapes With 91-89 Win Over Puerto Rico To Become 2013 FIBA Americas Champions

Mexico postMexico completed a Cinderella run after grabbing the gold medal in the 2013 FIBA Americas Championship with a close 91-89 win over Puerto Rico in a thrilling finale in Caracas, Venezuela.

It was a roller-coaster ride for both teams as they traded leads and runs for the entire match. Mexico took control in the first period, taking a 26-18 lead with a strong start, but Puerto Rico bounced back in the second half, trimming the lead down to three points at the half.

Gaining momentum from their strong second-quarter performance, Puerto Rico turned the game around in the final two minutes of the third period to head into the final period with a 71-66 lead.

The two teams went toe-to-toe in the final period of the match. Carlos Arroyo gave Puerto Rico a precarious 88-86 lead with only 1:21 left to play in the match, but Juan Gutierrez tied the game for Mexico with two cold-blooded free-throw conversions.

Lorenzo Mata then broke the deadlock with two free-throws after being fouled by Puerto Rico’s John Holland. However, Mata fouled Daniel Santiago in the ensuing play, but the latter missed one of his two shots from the charity stripes.

Starting at a one-point deficit, Puerto Rico had a chance to snatch the lead when Renaldo Balkman stole the ball, but Arroyo turned the ball over to Mexico with a costly turnover.

Puerto Rico fouled Paul Stoll, who missed the second free throw, but the Puerto Ricans failed to capitalize as Alexander Galindo missed the potential game-winning three-pointer.

Jovan Harris led Mexico with 23 points on 10-for-18 shooting, while Gustavo Ayon had another monstrous performance with 20 points and 16 rebounds to go along with three assists and two blocks. Mata also posted a double-double with 14 points and 10 boards for Mexico.

The win completed an unprecedented run for Mexico, who was not supposed to play in the tournament. The Mexicans were just named as substitute after Panama was banned by the association.

View the complete box score of the 2013 FIBA Americas finals match between Puerto Rico and Mexico here.

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