Penarol Mar del Plata’s recent success in the Argentine LigaA continued last night as the club won the title for the fourth time in five seasons. An 88-73 victory over Regatas Corrientes in Game 6 of the best of 7 finals series ensured Penarol a weekend of celebration. The title success repeats previous LigaA triumphs in 2012, 2011, 2010, and 1994, giving the east coast based club its fifth league title.
In the process of winning, Penarol dethroned defending champs Corrientes and won the title in its own Polideportivo Islas Malvinas arena.
Penarol Mar del Plata vs. Regatas Corrientes, 88-73
It was a nervy start from both sets of players and the pressure on Regatas to extend the series was obvious from the first tip off. It took Corrientes power forward Fernando Martina less than four minutes to amass three personal fouls, giving Penarol some easy points early in the contest. Facundo Campazzo dictated the early attacks for the hosts, but Corrientes stayed in touch with the score at 12-9 midway through the first quarter. The teams traded bastkets until the visitors took the lead at 16-19. Penarol responded in emphatic fashion by reeling off eight unanswered point to open a 24-19 lead at the end of the first quarter.
The home team started the second quarter in equally good form, finding good touch in the paint and from wider two point range. The result of a strong opening to the second frame from Penarol was a 10 point cushion (29-19). Regatas struggled during Penarol’s ascendency as the players were still sending the home team to the charity strip too often, while erratic play at the glass resulted in poor rebound stats in the second stanza. Nicholas Casalánguida rolled his roster from the bench in an effort to freshen the Corrientes attack and break a tight Penarol defence. It was only a marginal success as the Penarol steamroller kept going to hold a commanding 44-29 lead as the long break started.
Penarol Mar del Plata’s grip on the game did not loosen at the start of the third quarter as the hosts stretched the margin to 20 points. Finally Regatas responded and clicked for the first time in the contest with the triple threat of Paolo Quinteros, Javier Martinez, and Nicolas Romano causing problems for Penarol. Corrientes got back into the game, but Leo Gutierrez stepped up with a triple for the home team to extend the lead back to 15 points (55-40). The visitors had been subdued once more and Penarol pushed to close 30 minutes with a 61-43 lead.
Corrientes improved hugely at the start of the final frame as the team shored up at the back and looked more deadly in offence. The result was an 0-8 run at the start of the fourth quarter that dragged the score back to 61-51 and gave the away team a slim chance. The hosts called a timeout to reorganize and came back out to kill the game. That was achieved when Campazzo hit seven points (two doubles and a triple) to stretch the deficit back to 16 points (70-54) and all but secure the title.
Campazzo was sensational for Penarol Mar del Plata as he poured in 31 points, while Adrian Boccia hit 16 points for the winners.
Quintero kept Corrientes in touch with 24 points, followed by Romano with 13 points.