TORONTO — The Brazil U23 Men’s National Team outlasted the U.S. 77-73 to win the gold medal game of the inaugural GLOBL Jam international basketball showcase at Mattamy Athletic Centre in Toronto on Sunday.
Brazil was led by a 30-point, 11-assist performance from Yago Dos Santos who was named Tournament MVP after the win. Dos Santos shot 6-for-15 from the floor, 5-for-11 from beyond the arc and 13-for-15 from the free-throw line as he attempted more free throws (15) than the entire U.S. as a team (7-for-9 FTA). Caio Pacheco added 12 points and Marcio Santos added an 11-point, 10-rebound double-double for Brazil.
The U.S. was led by a 13-point performance from Jalen Bridges and 13 points from Keyonte George who nearly tied the game with 11 seconds remaining when his three-point attempt was halfway down before bouncing up and out of the rim. Dantwan Grimes and Jordan Turner added 11 points apiece for the Baylor University squad that was serving as Team U.S.A. for the event.
Brazil shot 40 per cent in the win, compared to 35 per cent for the U.S. in a game that was extremely close throughout with 14 lead changes and 12 ties. Neither team led by more than six points and both teams struggled to put points on the board in the fourth with the trophy on the line.
After a three-point play from George tied the game at 67 with 5:06 remaining, the U.S. went scoreless from the floor for four minutes as Dos Santos scored five straight points to put Brazil up five before a furious push by the U.S. featuring a three-pointer from Grimes and a layup from Bridges to tie the game at 72 all with 1:07 remaining.
With 31 seconds remaining, Dos Santos delivered a perfect no-look pass to Ruan Miranda for a layup to put Brazil ahead by a point. After Grimes made one of two free throws for the U.S., Dos Santos grabbed the defensive rebound and was fouled, making both free throws to put Brazil ahead by three. George had two attempts from three to tie the game at 73 in the final minute, but both were off the mark and Dos Santos sealed the victory at the line with five seconds remaining.
Both of these teams brought it from beginning to end, not wanting to give up an inch. The score was tied at 23 points after the opening 10 minutes and Brazil led by four points at the half.
The U.S. opened the second half with a 10-2 run to go ahead by four points, before Brazil hit back-to-back three-pointers to regain the lead with 5:32 remaining in the quarter. After the teams traded baskets to close the quarter, they went into the fourth tied up at 58 points, setting up a battle till the end.
When the final buzzer sounded and Brazil claimed victory, the entire roster sprinted onto the court to celebrate with their teammates. After the win, members of Brazil’s team cut down the Mattamy Athletic Centre basketball nets and then doused head coach Tiago Splitter with water before loudly singing the national anthem in celebration.