RECIFE (Brazil) – Managed the team from inside in 2011. He dispersed the ball, directed the offenses for the comfort of all the stars, and managed the timing of the games. Now manage the team from the outside. He gives instructions, draws games, conveys calm and knowledge, relies on the work of his assistants and manages the minutes for a longer rotation. Pablo Prigioni, point guard in 2011 and coach in 2022, champion of the Americas with Argentina.

No scenario can take him out of his composure. With almost the entire audience of Geraldo Magalhães in Recife, he could play the Americas final against him with the same calmness that he played in his native Colonia Dora. The expression on his face rarely changes. It’s just an isolated celebration or an allegation for what he sees as an unacceptable injustice. Gabriel Deck was the undisputed MVP of Americup. The man from Santiago was the tournament’s top scorer with 21.2 points per game, he was the top scorer with 20 points in the final, he scored a very high score of 71.2% in doubles and 64.9% on the field. He took responsibility for crimes when it was most needed. And as if that wasn’t enough, he recorded the decisive transformation of the tournament 16 seconds after the end of the final.

“I always throw the individual out because it’s the collective that counts, which is great in the team. We’ve been playing together for a long time and training and competing with the Argentina team makes us all happy. We had an illusion. We won and got this Cup. Great success from all of us who came here”, said Deck, as soon as the duel against Brazil was over.

After two seasons in the NBA, with the ups and downs of his joining the Denver Nuggets, uncertainty about his professional future is still lurking. Facundo Campazzo’s creativity, surprise, defensive passes, defensive tenacity and character go beyond this uncertain future. Entering his new role as captain after the retirement of Luis Scola with the Argentina jersey, Cordoba showed the best of the playmaker’s repertoire. He was the tournament’s top stealer with 3.5 steals per game, the second best assists with 8.3 steals per game, and the second best assists with 12.3 points per game.

With a score of 73-71 in favor of Brazil in the final, as the clock was ticking and the ball was on fire, Facu Marcos delivered a fantastic belt pass for Delía’s dunk. Pure magic.

“The one who is calm and makes better decisions will win the game,” Prigioni predicted at the final time-out he requested. “We took the tournament with the seriousness it deserved. We were tough and determined when we needed to be, and we knew how to handle the not-so-good moments. We sacrificed a lot to be here because playing for the National Team is the most important thing. A member of Americup’s ideal five, Campazzo is one of the best players out there. beautiful thing,” he said.

What was once a competition for the position of quarterback has turned into a partnership. Nicolás Laprovittola, who has adapted to the shooting guard position in recent years by emphasizing his extraordinary season at Barcelona, ​​has given a new role to the Argentina National Team. Lapro became a lethal sniper when he warmed his hand: he was the third-highest scorer in the competition with 16.5 points per game, and he was the player with the most long-range tries with 33.3% in triples. “We had character. We did a lot to become champions. We played very heartily and were the best team of the tournament,” Nicolás said.

The coach and the three main players on the team were pillars of a championship Argentina won through play and faith: fully prepared to win the tournament, they maturely overcame a sudden change in coaching due to the departure of Néstor García that day. They went to Brazil and had the necessary staff to get to the top of the podium.

“It’s a tournament we’ve been aiming to win for a long time and for various reasons we didn’t. The last two times we’ve been to the finals but we were a young group. We were the thorn in the final we lost. In 2017 in Córdoba. This helps us work and motivate us even more”, Captain Campazzo previous predicted in an interview.

And Argentina has proven to be one of the teams that has gone to win the competition since the creation of the squad: along with host and finalist Brazil, they were practically the only team to offer the best players they could offer.

The seriousness of each meeting, the individual hierarchy and the collective structure were decisive for the champion. The Campazzo-Laprovittola-Deck trio was the most famous, but far from the only thing that brought Argentina to blessing. Marcos Delía played a top tournament once again: in addition to 6 points and 3.7 rebounds per game, the center proved indispensable to give his team time and space in defensive duties and offensive blocks.

Carlos Delfino, 40, brought experience and had the team’s best three-point percentage at 46.2. Nicolás Brussino collaborated with 6.7 points per game and 39.3% in triples. Leandro Bolmaro averaged 7.3 points and served as a remarkable defense in his first tournament, standing out in the senior team at the age of 22 on the final day. Tayavek Gallizzi and Juan Pablo Vaulet increased the number of minutes and with it their effect on the details of the game. José Vildoza was the aid wheel of Campazzo and Laprovittola. Tomás Chapero and Máximo Fjellerup were the two least attended.

The three continental championships won by the Argentine basketball team were achieved by beating Brazil in the final: 2001 Neuquén, 2011 Mar del Plata and 2022 Recife. Conquest as a visitor has special value, but unlike the two local ones, this one has not given such a World Cup or Olympic venue since 2017 since Americup was established as a standalone tournament from the classifications to the major tournaments.

The team that has played the most continental finals (9) Argentina has once again paved the way to the greatest moments in its history: commitment, individual talent at the service of the collective, and the desire to excel.


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