Venezuela shocks Argentina to win first ever FIBA Americas Championship

Venezuela basketball celebrates FIBA Americas win

Venezuela notched their first ever FIBA Americas Basketball Championship title by defeating Argentina 76-71 in tightly-contested finale.

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Team Vinotinto really had to earn this gold; having to go through the two toughest teams in the tournament: an undefeated Argentina team in the finals and a stacked Canada team before that. These were the two teams that beat up on Venezuela in the preliminary rounds.

Venezuela went into the final period down three, but went on to outscore their opponents 27-19 in that quarter to pull out the win. Venezuela was paced by Heissler Guillen’s 15 points, John Cox’s 14 points, and Gregory Vargas’s 9 points, team leading 7 rebounds and 4 assists. Luis Scola led Argentina with 14 points and 11 rebounds and Andres Nocioni had 21 points for the losers.

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Venezuela wasn’t supposed to win — not just from a historical standpoint, but they weren’t even considered favorites in their own group. They finished the first two rounds with a mediocre 4-4 record — certainly the worst record of the four teams (including Mexico) in the semi-finals. Of those four teams, Venezuela was a major underdog to hosts Mexico, Argentina and Canada.

In what may be the biggest upset in FIBA Americas tournament history, Venezuela began their fairy tale run by pulling out a controversial one-point win over Canada then scrapped their way to the championship over Argentina!

The Venezuela basketball team wins FIBA Americas Championships 2015

 

And the smiles don’t stop there, with the win they qualify for the 2016 Olympics in Brazil. Congratulations Venezuela!

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