CANCUN (FIBA Americas League) - Defending champions Pioneros de Quintana Roo had home-court advantage over the weekend but Capitanes de Arecibo and Uniceub BRB were the big winners in Semi-Final Round Group E of the FIBA Americas League.
Looking to punch their return ticket to the Final Four, Mexicans Pioneros split their first two games and them slumped to an 80-64 defeat to Brazilians Uniceub on Sunday.
In the decisive encounter, Uniceub, the winners of the 2008-09 FIBA Americas League, stormed out to a 20-9 lead by the end of the first quarter and pressed home the advantage in the second.
By half-time, they had a stranglehold on proceedings at 40-19.
Brazil international Guilherme Giovannoni poured in 29 points for Uniceub, who bounced back from a 108-106 opening day defeat to Capitanes.
On Saturday, Uniceub stayed alive in the competition by thrashing fellow Brazilians Sao Jose Dos Campos, 82-61.
Capitanes’ form was up and down all weekend.
Daniel Vassallo had 25 points and Venezuela international Windi Graterol 18 in the triumph over Uniceub, yet the Puerto Rican club crashed to a 96-75 defeat to Pioneros on Day 2.
In their do-or-die game on Sunday against Sao Jose, Capitanes won a thrilling encounter, 82-81, with Vassallo making a go-ahead floater just four seconds from the death.
He again the led the team with 20 points.
Argentinians Lanus and Pinheiros of Brazil had claimed the top two spots in Semi-Final Round Group D to seal places at the Final Four, which is to be staged 29-31 March.