It’s Game 2 of the Serie Sobotam 2023 Finals Between Los Polancos and Los Guerrero De Canca. Polanco is up 1-0 on Canca entering Game 2, defeating them 99-86 after a dominant 30-point, 2 rebound, 7 assist performance for Polanco guard Brahian Mendez and center Juan Yunior, who finished with 32 points, 14 rebounds, and three assists.
Both teams came out the gate right off the bat in the first quarter trading basket for basket. Adrian Amaro was the Polanco high point man in the first quarter scoring 8 of the Polancos' 19 points that came off two right corner threes and a putback rebound.
The Polancos struggled with some careless turnovers and foul trouble in the first quarter that prevented them from gaining a substantial lead on Canca. With Canca ending the quarter with a 20-19 lead.
In the second quarter, the Canca got out running pushing in transition early on to get Polanco have to get back on transition defense. The Polancos however kept fighting back, getting some key stops, and a and three-point play by Mendez helped cut the Canca lead to two midway through the second before Canca came right back with a corner three to push it back to a 36-31 lead.
The Polanco will eventually tie it back 38-38 before the Canca hit a three-off beautiful ball movement. Hipolito Cabrera would then hit a three to tie it right back up at 41 apiece. Turnovers were the Achilles heel for Polanco throughout the first half allowing for many Canca fast break opportunities, with many of them being unforced turnovers. The Polanco started to rally back, with an emphatic Yunior putback dunk.
Still, Canca seemed to respond after every basket by Polanco with another converted shot on the other end. The first half ended 49-47 Canca. The question Polanco needs to ask themselves heading into the locker room is can they tighten up and cut down on the turnovers and limit the easy transition baskets they allowed Canca to get from unforced errors?
Also, can they not make silly fouls and be sharper in their hedging on shooters? Canca does a great job of moving the ball on the permittee which kept Polanco on their toes. They had to shift swiftly to try to contest and weren’t always the quickest to get out to the open shooter which hurt them in the first half along with the careless turnovers.
Polanco came out with a different sense of urgency to start the second half led by Amaro who scored a quick five points with a three from the left corner off a beautiful pump fake and a transition bucket to give Polanco a 59-53 lead. The refs had a questionable foul call on Yunior that looked like a clean block that resulted in Canca going to the line to tie the game up 59-59 moments later.
Two plays later, Mendez had an emphatic block that had the crowd going wild, as he swatted it with authority to send a message to Canca, with Polanco showing much better effort defensively in the second half. Moments later, Mendez seemed to lose his composure, resulting in a technical with Canca up 62-61 already with 2:40 left in the third. Luckily they missed the free throw.
Polanco would however seem to start going on a little 18-11 run on Canca to take a 79-73 lead with 7 minutes to go in the fourth. Amaro would then shoot a technical free throw that he made to give Polanco an 11-point lead before Canca returned with a three-point play.
Polanco would prove to show the metal they’re made of eventually taking their largest lead of the game up to that point, 93-80, off another Amaro three that gave him 19 points in the game at that moment.
Polanco would end up winning the game 101-88, led by their young star guard Adrian Amaro’s 30 points in what was another masterful performance from the young rising star who’s displayed the unwavering drive to win and do whatever his team needed to win.
A big brawl happened at the 50-second mark that didn’t allow the clock to fully expire with tensions high in what was an ultra-competitive atmosphere of two of some of the best teams the Dominican Republic has to offer. Ultimately, Polanco got the win and now takes a 2-0 series lead over Canca.
Game 3 has yet to be determined due to the brawl that occurred that will cause some players to be fined or even suspended. But one thing is for sure, Polanco has the momentum of the series and the championship right on the cusp of their fingertips.