Robert Bailey, Sunday Gleaner Writer
Jamaica's men's basketball team went down 100-89 to Mexico in their second-round game of the FIBA Americas Championships in Caracas, Venezuela, yesterday.
The Jamaicans started the game well, as they took a narrow 20-19 lead at the end of the first quarter. The Sam Vincent-coached Jamaicans outscored their Mexicans 26-25 in the second stanza for a 46-44 lead at half-time.
However, the Mexicans exploded from the three-point line at the start of the third quarter. They netted four straight three pointers, for a (61-52) midway the quarter.
The Jamaicans rallied strongly in the closing stages of the quarter to outscore the Mexicans (16-8) to trail their opponents 69-68 at the end of the quarter.
Jamaica, playing without their inspirational power forward Samardo Samuels who is suffering from a hamstring injury, failed to stop the free-scoring Mexicans in the fourth period. The Mexicans' tight defence resulted in a number of turnovers from Jamaica at both ends of the court. Centre Jerome Jordan was the top scorer for Jamaica with 24 points and six rebounds.
Jamaica, whose record now stands at one win and two defeats in the second round, will oppose Venezuela in the fourth game of the round today at 7:30 p.m. (Jamaica time).
The four semi-finalists at the Americas Championships will qualify for next year's FIBA World Championships in Spain.