SAN JUAN (2009 FIBA Americas Championship) - After losing in their first game, Panama made an important step towards qualifying for the quarterfinals after beating Venezuela 80-71 in day three of the FIBA Americas Championship.
In a duel of coaches who stress defense to their players, Panama showed more intensity on the defensive side and also had help from the bench players, which was key on their victory.
Jaime Lloreda led with 19 points while Danilo Pinnock netted 17, Jamar Warren 14 and Joel Muñoz 11. Gino Pomare and Joel Tesis scored 6 each to keep the Panamians on top.
Panama won the first quarter 22-12 as Lloreda netted 11 points and Joel Muñoz 7. At the half the lead for Panama was 39-26 and the leader was Lloreda with 15. Venezuela shot 24% (7-29) from the field at half.
In the third quarter Venezuela pressured the Panamian players and also improved considerably on offense to be down 57-54 with ten minutes to go.
Finally Panama kept the lead and with 1:58 left Jamar Warren scored a 3 pointer to secure the first win of Panama.
In a losing effort Hector Romero and Greivis Vasquez scored 17 points each and Richard Lugo 15.
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