Basketball World Cup 2023: Mexico defeats New Zealand and continues fighting for the pre-Olympic playoffs
The Mexican Basketball Team beat New Zealand this Thursday 108-100 in the qualifying phase of the FIBA World Cup 2023a dispute in Japan, the Philippines and Indonesia, to stay in the fight for America's ticket to the pre-Olympic playoffs.
In Manila, Francisco 'Pako' Cruz He was Mexico's best scorer, with 27 points, in addition to four rebounds and five assists. Reuben Te Rangi was the New Zealand leader with 32 units.
Are we getting behind 'Pako Cruzday'? 🇲🇽
— FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 🏆 (@FIBAWC) August 31, 2023
It was Mexico's first victory in this World Cup, in which they lost in their first three games in the Group Phase.
When they fell in the first round, the national quintet was left out of the fight for the title, but now they are playing a qualifying phase, from positions 17 to 32, in which the country's aspirations to go to the tournament are also at stake. Olympic basketball in Paris 2024.
Mexico was commanded in the first quarter by its captain Gabriel Gironwho hit two 3-pointers and eight total points, as his team led 31-22 at the end of the first quarter.
The 'Tri' dominated the paint in the first period and took advantage of their rivals' losses to turn them into baskets.
'Pako' Cruz was the Mexican leader in the second period, in which the veteran shooting guard dispatched 11 points, nine of them by converting his first three long-distance shots of the duel.
Also, the Mexicans remained the owners of the painted area and had the support of their substitutes to reach halftime 57-41 ahead.
Cruz remained the leader of the Mexican offensive in the third round, contributing eight more points, and had the support of Joshua Ibarra who completed eight more units.
The contribution of these players and not giving up in the paint allowed Mexico to reach the last quarter winning 78-68.
The Mexicans had a scare in the last quarter, thanks to the best performance by New Zealand, which dispatched 32 points, 13 of them by Reuben Te Rangi, which in the end were not enough and Mexico won the game 108-100.
Mexico's next game will be this Saturday against Jordan, the last of the 'Tricolor' in the competition and in which they will define whether or not they qualify for the pre-Olympic playoffs.
New Zealand will close its participation in the World Cup against Egypt on the same Saturday.
(With information from EFE)
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