The Mexican CIBACOPA league went right down to the wire as Zonkeys de Tijuana defeated Nogales in the decisive seventh game of the title series. The 56-80 success came on the road and handed Zonkeys its second consecutive CIBACOPA title and the franchise will feel well placed to go for a three peat next season.
While Nogales fought back to tie the series in Game 6 and had home court advantage here, Tijuana simply looked better all over the hardwood. The teams matched for rebounds (33 each) through the game, but the visitors were much more adept in stealing the ball (10 to Nogales’ 1), resulting in plenty of transition points for the winners.
Tijuana silenced the Nogales faithful early and took the lead through the first quarter, commanding a 10-16 advantage at the first break. In the second frame the guests continued to stay one step ahead with a 16-22 run that made it 26-42 through the long break. With a double digit lead, Zonkeys looked in control and used the third quarter to make the deficit more emphatic, winning the period 12-22 for a 38-64 advantage through the final split. Nogales could not even rally in the fourth act and Tijuana completed a stunning performance by winning Q4 to seal the title.
Arim Solares topped the winners with 24 points, while Trayvon Lathan recorded a double-double of 19 points and 10 rebounds. Marcus Morrison helped Tijuana with 17 points, 4 boards, and 5 assists, followed by James Penny with 13 points and 8 rebounds.
Kenny Jones topped the scoring for the losing effort with 15 points, while Paul Reyes and Jumaine Jones scored 13 apiece, with Jones doubling up with 11 rebounds.