Puerto Rico defeated Mexico 74-72 in a very exciting basketball final match for the gold medal in the XVI Pan-American Games Guadalajara 2011.
In a riveting match at the CODE dome, Puerto Rico ended the Mexican quest for basketball gold in the continental competition.
The local team led at the end of the first quarter 21-19 with a great performance by team captain Victor Mariscal, who hit two 3-pointers for eight points total.
NBA champ J.J. Barea and Reinaldo Walkman led the Islanders in a very physical match to tie the score at 35 points at the end of the first half of play. Barea scored 10 points while Walkman had 12.
Mexico missed a couple of key 3-pointers to start the second half and Puerto Rico took advantage to open a 41-35 lead. That was when the fans really began supporting their team and coach Sergio Valdeomillos reacted by calling a timeout to settle down his players. The third quarter ended with Puerto Rico ahead 51-50.
The final quarter was both dramatic and intense. Mexico and Puerto Rico had the gold medal in their sights and no one was slowing down.
With the game tied 70-70 with less than a minute to play, Puerto Rico allowed Barea to control the ball and the clock to earn the win.
Mexico repeated the silver medal obtained at the Pan-Am games in La Havana 1991.
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