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Centrobasket 12 - DR played the best basketball in the Caribbean
San Juan, Puerto Rico - During the past seven days the Dominican Republic national team (6-0) proved was better than the other nine teams that participated in the 2012 edition of the Centrobasket Tournament being held in the José Miguel Agrelot coliseum in Hato Rey, Puerto Rico.
The Dominicans ended their participation undefeated, this after beating today the Puerto Rico team (5-1), 80-72, achieving the gold medal of this regional competition, which didn’t won since Santo Domingo 2004.
Puerto Rico, meanwhile, won the silver medal and failed in his attempt to repeat the gold won in Santo Domingo 2010. The bronze was awarded to the Jamaica team, who won his first medal in its history in this competition.
Dominican Republic started the final game 10-6, after a three-point shot by Eulis Báez, with 6:41 of the first quarter. José Juan Barea scored six points in a 9-4 run to Puerto Rico, to turn the score 15-14, with 3:48. Dominican hasn’t scored in the final four minutes of the first quarter, which used the home team come off 21-14.
Mike Rosario and Ricky Sánchez got two separate baskets to put the Puerto Ricans 25-14, with 8:51 of the second period. But Francisco García approached the Dominicans 27-23 with three three-point shots remaining 6:59. Yack Michael Martínez scored five points and put up the Dominican Republic 28-27, with 6:09. The advantage increased to 40-31 after a 12-4 run by the Dominicans finished with an Elpidio Fortuna triple remaining 1:07. A free throw by Sánchez and tree-point shot from Barea finished the half 40-35, in favor of the visitors team.
Sánchez opened the third quarter with five points to tie the game at 40 points with 9:16. Martínez responded with a jump shot, but David Huertas’s three-point shot turned the score, 43-42, with 8:41. Fortuna completed a 9-2 rally from the Dominicans and closed the first 30 minutes to lead 58-54.
Puerto Rico regained the lead, 65-64, with a 6-0 run in the middles of the fourth quarter. Al Horford free throw tied the game for last time to 67 points with 4:54 to play. Puerto Rico hasn’t scored in the next three minutes, which were sufficient to advance the winners taking a 7-0 rally, closed with a triple by Juan Coronado, to take the lead 74-67 with 2:53 remaining.
Martínez led with 23 points and 11 rebounds, Coronado followed with 17 and nine rebounds, while García and Báez contributed 11 each one. In the loss, Barea scored 18 points, Santiago 16, Sánchez 15 and Huertas 13.
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