Benfica wins Portuguese LPB

BenficaBenfica clinched its third successive Portuguese LPB after defeating Vitoria SC 72-88 to sweep the best of five series 3-0. It is the clubs’ fifth title in six years and its 25th overall, making Benfica comfortably the most successful club in Portugal’s Basketball history, beating the 11 titles owned by Porto.

Despite a blip in the second quarter, Benfica never looked like losing control of this game or the series as the team dictated the floor. A strong defence built from 23 rebounds and 8 blocks at the back propelled the club to glory, while Benfica outrebounded Vitoria 34-18 overall.

Benfica exploded from the opening tip off and surged into the lead during the first quarter, eventually holding a 14-28 lead by the end of the first 10 minutes. Vitoria did well in front of its home fans to rally in the second period, snatching the quarter 26-18 to slash the deficit to 40-46 at halftime. The second quarter proved to be as good as it got for Vitoria as Benfica took control once more after the midway break. The visitors poured in another 28 points during Q3 while holding SC Vitoria to 18 to take a 58-74 lead into the final stanza. With 16 points the difference heading into the fourth quarter, the game was all but finished and Benfica cruised down the straight to clinch another LPB title.

Jobey Thomas picked up a game high 23 points for Benfica, while Joao Gomes secured 16 points and 9 rebounds. Seth Doliboa followed with 14 points and 7 rebounds of his own for the champions.

Tony Meier paced the losing effort with 21 points and Joao Balseiro took 11 points and 5 rebounds.

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