Thursday, September 12th, 2013 at 12:10 pm  |  27 responses

Gustavo Ayon Crowned MVP As Mexico Wins Gold

Last night, Mexico and Puerto Rico faced off in the FIBA Americas Championship game. Mexico, led by Gustavo Ayon, pulled out a close one, 91-89, despite Puerto Rico getting 23 points from Carlos Arroyo, 20 from JJ Barea and 14 from Renaldo Balkman. Here’s the recap per HawskBasketblog.com: “Ayón scored 20 points and pulled down a game-high 16 rebounds to complete a magnificent individual tournament performance that crowned him MVP. Ayón also made the all-tournament team, averaging 17.2 points and 8.4 rebounds. Puerto Rico and Mexico exchanged leads throughout the fourth quarter, and the Puerto Ricans missed an open three-pointer at the buzzer that would have won it. Mexico replaced Panama in the tournament, which also served as the qualifier for the 2014 FIBA World Cup in Spain.  That tournament takes place every four years.  Mexico joins Puerto Rico, Argentina and the Dominican Republic as teams that qualified from the tournament. Mexico was not expected to advance but instead won gold for the first time in 35 years. After a terrific tournament, Ayón now turns his focus toward preparing for Atlanta Hawks training camp in October.”

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  • CzechMate

    Hawks stole this dude, he tore up the Argentines and their best player scola the whole game, this hombre has got something to prove

  • LLC#12

    He was solid all tournament, well deserved. Brazil going 0-4 and being knocked out in the group stages was the shock of the tournament. There’s only 4 wildcard spots for the World Cup next year, so there’s going to be some good teams missing out. Russia, Nigeria, China, Brazil, Canada, Macedonia, Turkey, Venezuela are all solid teams that will probably be vying for one of the 4 wildcard spots. Not to mention who might still go out of Eurobasket.

  • north

    Canada had a great showing without some of their better players being there. I know the same can be said for other teams but all Canada’s players are young. They look like they could make noise soon. Germany is couple years behind them but the old guys are dropping and the new blood coming in.

  • LLC#12

    Yeah, I was really rooting for Canada to make it to the semi’s so they would qualify for 2014. They definitely have a lot of talent, both currently and in the pipeline. It’s a real shame they didn’t get a top 4 finish, cause I’m not sure about their chances of getting one of the wildcards, and they would have been really great to watch next summer with their full team out there.

  • Da-Meat-Hook

    I think Canada had a disappointing tournament to be honest. Although a few individuals had some solid numbers, we can’t overlook the fact that the entire tournament had 8 NBA players and FOUR of them were playing for Canada, yet we failed to crack the top 4!

    Nicholson, Joseph, and Thompson were solid, and Heslip shot the 3ball well, but Canadian coaches, players, and fans have to be disappointed with these results.

  • north

    The issue isn’t the players it’s Jay Triano. He couldn’t coach himself out of a paper bag. I’ve assisted on workshops he’s done at the college level and he get everything from a manual. That doesn’t help in game and it shows. Nicholson, Joseph and Thompson showed up. Olynyk would have been a great addition as Canada’s answer to Scola and Ayon.
    I love that you’re calling Joel Anthony an NBA player. Just makes me giggle. Maybe once but that’s done.
    Remember Canada swept Mexico in this tourney. Upside, it’s there.

  • http://www.dzfoot.com/ Matt Harpring’s Haircut

    I was shocked to see Renaldo Balkman suit up for Puerto Rico, never knew he was from there but turns out his grandma was born there .. crazy tournament overall, I don’t think anyone saw Mexico winning it or Brazil going 0-4 and getting knocked out in the first round

  • robb

    Fortunately after more than 20 years mexican basketball got rid of all the corruption that was killing the sport. Hopefully there will be more achievements for these guys in the future.

  • http://www.dzfoot.com/ Matt Harpring’s Haircut

    He wasn’t that great the few times I saw him play in the L. He’s a big guy but just didn’t seem quick or strong enough to be effective. Maybe this will boost his confidence.

  • Lenin-Gil Phillips

    I kind of agree, he did ride C. Joseph too long in the games. But their issue will be the depth at the guard position.

  • http://twitter.com/niQknacks niQ

    Another underrated player. Needs to get more minutes!

  • Alexzandar Davilijanovic

    Viva Mexico Cabrones!!!

  • danpowers

    que chido wey

  • Da-Meat-Hook

    Completely agree with your view of Triano. I think he’s in over his head.

    Our youngsters were solid, and talent definitely wasn’t the issue here. But let’s call a spade a spade here, we did not have a “great showing” as you put it. We showed flashes of promise, but we didn’t solidify a spot for the worlds because we didn’t finish in the top 4 despite being the most talented team in the tournament.

    Although I grew up playing with and against Joel Anthony throughout my youth, I will be THE FIRST person to admit that he has horrible hands, a horrible touch, and just an all-round horrible offensive skillset. But he’s still an elite shotblocker and solid rebounder and could easily start for most teams in this tournament.

  • Lenin-Gil Phillips

    I really like Facundo Campazzo, the pg for Argentina, NBA teams will be giving this 22 year old a call.

  • CzechMate

    Yea I think he might of felt weird playing ball with American players he didn’t know. but he seems like a different guy playing for Mexico. Mexicans have a lot of pride.


    jay triano was out couched in every game and they still won 4 of the first 5 games. don’t blame the kids, blame the head coach

  • fruizm


  • Da-Meat-Hook

    Where in my comment did I place the blame solely on the players?

    I said that Canada’s 3 best players played solid. I said Heslip shot the 3ball well. My next comment acknowledged that Triano is in over his head. My only beef was that north said “Canada had a great showing” because they didn’t. We were the most talented team in the tournament and couldn’t even place 4th.

    We showed flashes of promise, but teams that are less talented finshed ahead of us and we failed to qualify for the worlds.

  • RKJ92

    We have no depth at all man.. and our bench is horrid. We should ONLY keep Tristan Thompson, Corey Joseph, Andrew Nicholson, Brady Heslip, and Andy Rautins, as Levon Kendall, and Joel Anthony will be too old next time it comes to compete. That’s only 5 either solid, or serviceable players, not a good sign at all. Add that up with a horrible coach and bad defense from our serviceable players in Heslip, Rautins, and Kendall, this was not our time.. I am just hopeful for Wiggins, Bennett, and Olynyks time to come back and represent our country!

  • Da-Meat-Hook

    Although our bench wasn’t elite, neither was Mexico’s. Neither was the Dominican bench. I am not saying we could compete with the States, Spain, or Lithuania with the squad we sent to Venezuela. My argument is that we had enough talent to be a top 4 team in this tournament. Again, there were 8 NBA players in the entire tournament and we had 4 of them. Heslip was arguably the best 3 point shooter in the tournament.

    Are you suggesting that we didn’t have a shot at placing in the top 4?

  • RKJ92

    No, this one is on me Hook, I didn’t think you were referring to our team, and competition in just the 8 team pool, I thought you were referring to Canada against all countries, and being able to compete. Now that it’s clarified I do think we should have made it out of the pool for sure.. Puerto Rico had the best team by far though as our team had major holes defensively. I am still in shock Mexico beat them.. lol my wife has been nonstop heckling me (as she is Mexican, and loves basketball) haha.

  • Da-Meat-Hook

    All good brotherman, yeah, I feel like we really missed having a solid perimeter defender to contest opposing wings.

    Puerto Rico had Barrea, Arroyo, and a bunch of savy vets who had a great feel for international play.

    Yeah, Mexico had no business winning the tournament. Your wifey may be talking ish now, but I think Money Mayweather is gonna put a whoopin on her boy Canelo this weekend lol

  • Mengke Bateer

    Rich man’s Najera? Not just a comparison based on their shared heritage. Ayon hustles, is scrappy, has solid intangibles. Ayon has a better offensive arsenal though, and is a solid passer. Seems to be better defensively, with the weakside blocks, whereas Najera drew charges for days. Hoping he plays more this season.

  • RKJ92

    Ya our wing game is weak.. we have no small forwards, and 1 solid shooting guard in Andy Rautins, but he can’t defend to save his life! lol, so our wings definitely do need work as we are pretty well off in our pg, pf, c positions.
    I think Renaldo Balkman (if you remember the Knicks, Nuggets journeyman) had a hell of a tournament for Puerto Rico I think he averaged something like 18.6, and 10-11rpg pretty crazy for his standards, it was kinda like Ayon breaking out in the tournament as well kind of unexpected!
    And my wife loves boxing as well; she will definitely be watching that fight.. I still don’t understand why she thinks Canelo will win against Flloyd.. she is just way too proud sometimes haha

  • El Kantotero

    Triano played Heslip too much but can you blame him? That’s his nephew but his minutes could of been easily been given to Deveo Joseph the older brother of Cory Joseph.

  • Basketball_iQ

    BofL ROtFf is the only thing measurable to this actual article. Mexico,,, in basketball? Pffft