Ayón Gets Breather, Mexico Clinches Spot In Second Round

Sunday, September 1, 2013
By Jaryd Wilson

Milwaukee Bucks v Orlando Magic

New Atlanta Hawk Gustavo Ayón scored 14 points in just 14 minutes as Mexico easily cruised into round two of the FIBA Americas Championship with an 87-65 win over Paraguay Sunday.

Ayón made all seven shots he attempted, but Mexico probably didn’t even need him to take the floor Sunday.  With a game tomorrow against the powerhouse Dominican Republic team, Mexico opted to rest their best player for the final 15 minutes of the 40-minute game.

For the second straight game, Mexico started strong, this time building a 20-point lead after just one quarter.  They now sit 2-0 in pool play, and their four points ensures them a spot in the second round field of eight, meaning they are now halfway to qualifying for the FIBA World Cup next year in Spain.

Ayón scored 22 points and pulled down 18 rebounds, both game-highs, in a hard-fought opening day victory over Venezuela Friday.  He also had four assists and four blocks.

After tomorrow’s game against the Dominican Republic, Mexico will finish pool play Tuesday against Argentina.  Both should be stiff tests for Mexico, who would like to score an upset over at least one of their next opponents to better position themselves for round two, as round one results carry over to the next round.

Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE/Getty Images

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