Guadalajara (Mexico), Dec 7 (EFE).- The Jalisco Astros, led by Spanish coach Sergio Valdeolmillos, beat Fuerza Regia de Monterrey of also Spaniard Pablo García 79-70 this Thursday to take a 1-0 lead in the final series of Mexican basketball.
The American Jordan Loveridge was Jalisco’s best scorer with 18 points, in addition to three rebounds and a perfect 4-4 in triples. Mexican Daniel Bejarano was the best for Monterrey with 19 points scored.
It was the first game that Valdeolmillos won in a final with the Astros since in the previous two he was swept, first in 2021 by Fuerza Regia himself and last year by the Abejas de León, then led by Pablo García from Malaga.
The second game will be played this Friday at the Astros’ home. The final series will end when one of the two teams achieves four wins.
The Astros and Fuerza Regia played an even first quarter in which the scoreboard changed the lead 16 times to sign a 23-23 tie after the first 10 minutes of the game.
Fuerza Regia started the quarter better, but Jordan Loveridge in one of his best versions dispatched nine points to put Jalisco de Valdeolmillos in the duel.
In the second set, the Astros took a slight lead of 45-41, led by a lethal play in the paint by the American Demitrius Conger, who dispatched his first seven points of the duel.
García’s Monterrey tried to score with triples, however, they were not accurate, which allowed the Astros to go into halftime with the advantage.
Jalisco took its biggest advantage in the penultimate quarter, going up to 12 points ahead, and although Fuerza Regia reduced it in the end, the Valdeolmillos team reached the final period 60-55 ahead.
Jeffrey Ledbetter, from the bench, contributed five points to command the Astros’ offense, while García’s team took advantage of their rivals’ turnovers to reduce the score.
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Loveridge completed his good performance in a final quarter in which he made his fourth triple to help Jalisco secure the 79-70 victory.
In the 2023 final series, the Astros are looking for the first title in their history, while Fuerza Regia aspires to obtain the fifth that would put them as the top winners in Mexican basketball.
At the moment Monterrey is tied for first place in the teams with the most trophies along with the Soles de Mexicali and the Halcones de Xalapa, all with four titles.
(c) EFE Agency
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