San Juan come out on top at FIBA 3x3 Colorado Challenger
COLORADO SPRINGS (United States) - San Juan (PUR) booked their spot in the Abu Dhabi Masters after winning the Colorado Challenger on October 8.
San Juan picked up their first major win of the season in statement fashion. Taking over not only the stat sheets but the highlight packages from the opener, the Puerto Rican side established their dominance early.
They split the results in pool play with a strong win over Spokane followed by a defeat to Jeddah. Luis Cuascut boasted his athleticism while Antonio Ralat and Adrian Ocasio led the offensive charge.
It was a nail-biting affair against Calabasas in the Quarter-Final as the game went to OT. Ralat put up a whopping 12 points, but it was Leandro Allende who called game with a two to seal a 23 - 21 win.
They took on the contending Lausanne in the Semi-Finals and came away with a 21 - 17 victory thanks to a 9-point effort from Ocasio.
Omaha caught fire early and never let up. They started pool phase with a statement 18 - 22 victory against Lausanne before defeating Los Angeles to head into the knockout stage 2-0. James Parrott and Trey Bardsley were unguardable as they put up big numbers in pool play.
They combined for 15 points in a Quarter-Final victory against NY Harlem before another spectacular tandem effort saw them defeat Jeddah in the Semi-Final.
San Juan 21 - 16 Omaha
The stifling defense of San Juan was on display early as they never allowed the on-fire Omaha side to find rhythm. A well-distributed offensive performance granted the Puerto Rican side a 5-0 lead.
Omaha did fight back, with a bucket from Bardsley tying things up 7 - 7. They even took a 10 - 11 lead thanks to a huge two from Trey, but it would be Antonio Ralat who would make the big shots to pull away. They held a 19 - 16 lead when Cuascut was fouled to send him to the line for two free throws. He would make them both to hand his side the win against stiff competition.
MVP - Antonio Ralat
Ralat was the offensive hub for his side, leading them in scoring with 33 points. His consistent buckets, including the timely ones in the final, granted him the distinction of MVP.
San Juan, alongside Omaha and Jeddah earned themselves a spot at the FIBA 3x3 World Tour Abu Dhabi Masters held on October 28 - 29 (Lausanne was already qualified)
1. San Juan (PUR)
2. Omaha (USA)
3. Jeddah (KSA)
4. Lausanne Sport LS (SUI)
5. Calabasas (USA)