Venezuela repeats as South American champ

VenezuelaHome nation Venezuela cemented itself as the current dominant force in South American Championships hoops with 64-58 final win over Brazil. The victory ensured the nation its second consecutive title (after success in 2014) and its third overall. Success came at the expanse of Brazil, stopping the country from extending its position as the winningest team in South American Championships history (18 titles).

This was a low scoring finale, but Venezuela frustrated Brazil and sent the home fans into raptures by the sound of the final buzzer. Victory was built early on, but the hosts needed to offer the best defensive period of the tournament in the fourth act to seal the win.

Venezuela started well, scoring 20 points in the first quarter and stopping Brazil at 17 points for an early advantage. The Brazilians slowed the home team in the second frame, but was still struggling through the nets, so could only close the gap by a point. Through halftime the score was reading 35-33 in favour of Venezuela. After the long break the visitors carried the momentum and used a 13-17 run to gain the lead through thirty minutes, the score at 48-50.

The home fans got behind Venezuela and the team responded with 16 fourth quarter points. That turned out to be plenty of room as the hosts closed up at the back and only allowed Brazil 8 points in the closing frame. A miserly defensive display had paid off and Venezuela claimed the crown.

Gregory Vargas topped the win with a game high 21 points, while Jose Vargas added 12 points and David Culliban 10 points.

Marcus Vinicius Toledo paced Brazil with 13 points, followed by Jefferson Andrade with 12 points.

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