FIBA Americas Championship Roundup | Sept. 12, 2013

FIBA Americas Championship Roundup | Sept. 12, 2013

CARACAS, Venezuela -- Despite 20 points from Wolves point guard J.J. Barea and another 23 from Carlos Arroyo, the Puerto Rico National Team fell 91-89 to Mexico in the 2013 FIBA Americas Championship title game on Wednesday night in Caracas, Venezuela.

Free throws were the difference down the stretch. Tied at 88-88 with 52 seconds to play, Mexico benefitted from a pair of free throws from Lorenzo Mata to go up two. D. Santiago hit 1-of-2 from the line on Puerto Rico’s next trip down the court, but Paul Stoll of Mexico hit 1-of-2 with eight seconds to play to put Mexico up 91-89. A missed 3-point attempt by Alexander Galindo at the buzzer ended Puerto Rico’s hopes.

Puerto Rico ends the tournament with a 7-3 record. The loss has no bearing on whether or not Puerto Rico will play in next year’s FIBA World Cup in Spain—they clinched their spot in that tournament by reaching the semifinals of the FIBA Americas.

Arroyo and Mexico’s Jovan Harris each led the way with 23 points on the night, and Barea was right there with 22 points on 8-of-14 shooting. He hit 3-of-7 from 3-point range on the night, and he also added five boards, four assists and two steals while committing three turnovers. He got to the line just once but made that free throw.

Barea stood out all tournament. Coming off MVP honors at the Tuto Marchand Continental Cup tournament earlier in August, Barea averaged 15.6 points per game during nine contests in the FIBA Americas while shooting 45.1 percent from the field and 37.8 percent from 3-point range (17-of-45). He notched a 30-point effort against Venezuela, a 24-point effort against Jamaica and 20 points against Mexico on Thursday night.

Barea also averaged 4.2 assists per game, notching a tournament-best eight against the Dominican Republic in the semifinals, and 3.7 rebounds per game.

Barea’s next step will be returning to Minnesota prior to Training Camp. His teammates are beginning to arrive in town with more to follow over the next two weeks. This will be Barea’s third year with the Wolves. He’s coming off a season in which he averaged 11.3 points per game while shooting 41.7 percent from the field and 34.6 percent from 3-point range.

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