Monday, June 20, 2011

FIBA Americas Cup 2011 -- U16 Americas Cup Field is Set

Costa Rico is the Third Centrobasket Team to Qualify
Though the game results of the last day of competition in the Centrobasket U16 qualifying tournament were listed on the FIBA Americas website last night around 12:30am (eastern daylight savings) -- you had to link to the individual box scores scrolling at the top banner -- the final standings of the tournament were not posted until 11:00am or so this morning. The nightmare scenario played out as Costa Rico blasted Guatemala 105-47 to record a 2-3 record even as Belize, the team who controlled their fate, lost to El Salvador by seven, 64-71, dropping all three teams (Belize, Costa Rico and El Salvador) into a deadlock with matching 2-3 records. A review of the U16 Centrobasket Championship standings lists Costa Rico as the #3 place team. The FIBA Americas site has confirmed that the Costa Rican team (and not Belize, as I suggested yesterday) has been assigned to Pool B for the FIBA U16 Americas Cup Tournament, to kick off tomorrow with a full slate of games. Puerto Rico, as suggested in the previous post, did indeed win the tournament, beating host Mexico yesterday by a surprisingly large 36 point margin, 99-63. Puerto Rico will enter the Americas Cup with the momentum of a 5-0 record from the Centrobasket Tournament behind them.

The revised projected pools with Costa Rico assigned:

Pool APool B
MexicoUnited States
Puerto RicoCosta Rico

Puerto Rico swept through the U16 Centrobasket Tournament racking up a winning margin of +253 points over five games. That is an average winning margin of 50.6 points. Even eliminating the Guatemala game (a 125-28 pasting), the Puerto Rico team still managed an average winning margin of 39 points, the standard deviation -- 7.55 -- suggesting consistent game-to-game domination of the competition. The Puerto Ricans should probably be considered the favorites in Pool A, though the Canadians may disagree. Puerto Rican players to watch include Ariel Watson, a 6-2 guard who plays for Good Counsel in Washington DC, Eliel Gonzalez Gomez who shot 27-39 through the five games, Jairo Velez Lopez who shot 20-26 and Bryan Moreno who shot 19-25 in only three games. Under the boards, Ian Torres Medina averaged eight rebounds per game through five games.

USA games through pool play, again revised...

06/21/11 TuesBrazil
06/22/11 Wed.Argentina
06/23/11 ThurCosta Rico

After pool play the top two teams from each pool will advance to two medal round games, while the bottom two will play two additional Classification games to determine places #5 - #8, the games to be played Friday (6/24) and Saturday (6/25). Teams who finish #1 - #3 will qualify for the 2012 FIBA U17 World Championships.