Once again the Constituents of San Cristóbal won and once again Jassel Pérez was decisive in the final seconds, this time to beat San Sebastián de Moca 72-69 (22-24, 18-11, 18-16, 14-18 ) and give his team one of two tickets to the U22 National Development League final.
It was the first match of the Final Four. And if that was spectacular, it was no less so that of the Areperos de San Carlos who in another duel of jump and fright advanced to play the grand final against Constituents by winning 84-82 (18-16 / 22-16 / 18-29 / 26-21) to the Truenos de Cristo Rey, in a game that had several exchanges of leadership in the last minute.
Constituents and Areperos become the first two finalists of this nascent Development League. The owner of the trophy will be known on Sunday in a match that will begin at one in the afternoon at the Palacio de los Deportes, venue of the Final Four and the final and will be broadcast by CDN Deportes and the Fedombal channel on YouTube.
With 29 seconds left in regular time, Areperos dominated 80-79. Enmanuel Peguero left a screen, fired a shot, connected, was fouled by Kendy Henríquez and converted the free throw to put Truenos 82-80.
In response, San Carlos made a ball move that ended up cooking Truenos, even when he was about to lose the ball. Yeison Rivera received the serve, passed to Michael Beato, who yielded to Henríquez, who converted the basket and a free throw after receiving a foul to put the game 83-82 with 14 seconds left.
The Thunder got the ball out, Peguero passed Oliver Bautista, who was blocked by Beato and Álvaro Perdomo with 4.5 seconds left. San Carlos kept the ball, Beato was fouled and converted the first of the two sets. Randy Bautista shot from midfield, a shot that hit the glass and touched the rim, but to no avail.
For San Carlos Brayan Ramírez scored 25 points and five assists, Álvaro Perdomo 16 and 14 rebounds, Yeison Rivera 13 points, six rebounds and five assists and Michael Beato 12 points, eight rebounds and four assists.
For the Thunder, which featured the return of Anpherne Acevedo, Kelvin Ramírez 20 points, Acevedo 18 and Robert de Jesús 14.
Constituents guided by Pérez
Pérez made the decisive throw and Frank Garabito confirmed the elimination of Moca with a tap and just 1.6 seconds to play, in which Alfredo Reyes tried a three-shot, desperate, without finding any fortune to end an agonizing match.
The game was broadcast on CDN Deportes, but a large number of fans took over, especially the lower part of the Palacio de los Deportes Virgilio Travieso Soto, especially those of San Cristóbal, who took advantage of the proximity.
Pérez scored decisive baskets in the two quarterfinal matches against the Coloniales del Distrito and now against San Sebastián.
"We are working for this. We have to keep improving some things"Perez said. He valued the work of his colleagues to get to the stage they are in. "We each motivate and trust each other", he pointed.
In this way, the Constituents secured their ticket for the grand final this Sunday. San Cristóbal was winning the game with 12 points with 5:06 to play. Moca was affected in the second chances, despite having a greater presence of stature with Juan Rosario and Argenis Sánchez, but the San Cristobal team won the rebounds 51-48 and 28 offensive against 17 of the Mocanos.
San Cristóbal resisted a comeback from Moca, who after losing 10 points, came to tie the match and could even define, if not because Juan de los Santos steals the ball from Derek Mejía.
In that situation, on the offensive side, the ball reached Pérez with 20 seconds to go. The declared Most Valuable Player controlled until the last moment, he decided to escape and with the “euro step”, avoiding three players, he scored the two points of advantage for San Cristóbal and thus put the game 70-68 with 11 seconds for the San Sebastián.
Moca had a chance to tie with Kevin Nunez, who was fouled by De los Santos with four seconds left. But the mocano made the second of the two sets, leaving the game 70-69 to play. When the shot failed, Jassel Pérez took the offensive rebound, was fouled with 2.6 seconds left. Pérez missed both sets, in the second attempt, the ball hit the ring and in that situation Garabito appeared to define the victory of the Constituents.
Pérez led the San Cristobal attack with 21 points, 11 rebounds and two steals, De los Santos 15 points and 11 rebounds (11 offensive), Isidro Payano 12 and Garabito six points, the last two the most valuable of their season.
For Moca, Kevin Núñez 19, Derek Mejía 16, Juan Rosario, 13 and 15 rebounds and Argenis Sánchez 10 and 14 rebounds.