venez-looking-150414G300 Against the odds, Venezuela stunned South America giants Argentina 76-71 in Saturday’s 2015 FIBA Americas Final in Mexico City to win the tournament for the very first time in their basketball history.

Venezuela, who reached the Semi-Finals with a 2-4 mark after defeats to Argentina, Mexico, Uruguay and Canada, instilled a ‘nothing-lose’ mindset just to cause the biggest upsets in the recent history of FIBA America.

Playing the entire tournament without their most renowned players, Greivis Vasquez, who joined the Milwaukee Bucks in the NBA, Venezuela were energised by Heissler Guillent, who came off the bench to contribute a team-high 15 points.

John Cox added 14 points, and Nestor Garcia team’s who had already qualified for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics by reaching the Final on Friday night, became the new kings of the FIBA Americas.

Andrea Nocioni paced Argentina with game-highs 21 points and 8 rebounds, but Venezuela celebrated last.

In the third-place game, Toronto Raptors new signing Cory Joseph hit a game-winning with a second remaining to help Canada upset hosts Mexico 87-86.

Mexico trailed by nine with two minutes left, but rallied to take the lead in the finals seconds of the contest thanks to a magistral from Gustavo Ayon, Marco Ramos and Paul Stoll who combined for 51 Mexico points.

“It was a great game, fought until the end, everyone played well on both sides of the court, on defense and offense,” said 2015 NBA Rookie of the Year Andrew Wiggins.

“The game was decided in the last possessions, both teams made big scores, but we had the last shot and Cory (Joseph) won the game.”

Argentinian Luis Scola not only was named the Most Valuable Player of the tournament, but he also headlined the All-Tournament Team along his countryman Andreas Nocioni, Andrew Wiggins, Gustavo Ayon and Heissler Guillent.

Both Venezuela and Argentina joined a trio of teams – Australia, Nigeria and USA – who already qualified for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.


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