Ammons, Mondragon Shine as Tijuana Zonkeys Take Season Opener Against Durango

Credit: EVT Sports

Tijuana, Mexico

The 2018 CIBACOPA Mexican basketball season started off on Thursday with the game between the Tijuana Zonkeys and Aguilas Doradas de Durango at the Auditorio Municipal de Tijuana.

The turnout at the venue was fantastic and should be the best crowd the auditorium gets this CIBACOPA season. The atmosphere generated by the mascot, cheerleaders, and fans was electric as the crowd stayed interested in the encounter for the entire 40 minutes.

Los Burro-Zebras maintained control of the game for most of it as the score after the first period was 26-22 in Tijuana’s favor.

The second period was the most hard-fought of the clash as it ended 42-40 in the Zonkeys’ favor and included a lot of physical battles, characteristic of the league.

The Striped Donkeys broke the score wide open in the third period as the score was 73-59 in favor of James Penny’s team after 30 minutes of play.

The game ended 90-80, with the Zonkeys opening up the season in the best way possible in front of the home crowd. The players went on to get with the fans for pictures and autographs after the game, as is always accustomed by Tijuana’s stars. The two players that clearly stood out from the game for Tijuana were Mychal Ammons and Gary Mondragon. Ammons finished the encounter with 18 points and also led the Zonkeys with five assists and eight rebounds.

Mondragon led the border city side in points with 23, and also had five rebounds and an assist as well. The former Frayles de Guasave player was lethal from long-range as he went 6-for-7 from three-point distance. San Diego native Karim Rodriguez netted himself 11 points while CIBACOPA newcomer Quinton Doggett scored 10 points with three rebounds. Team captain Trayvon Lathan also started off the season well with 12 points, five rebounds, and three assists in just over 21 minutes of play.

For Durango, the clear standout was Jeffrey Stubbs, who was the top-scorer of the game with 30 points, but his performance was not enough to get past the solid team effort by Tijuana. It was the best start possible for James Penny and the Zonkeys as they will now try and secure this three-game series against Aguilas Doradas on Friday night in what should be an intense clash.

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Francisco Velasco
Francisco, 21, Chula Vista area, Journalism student at Southwestern College. I have been a Padres fan all my life, did most of the series previews and recaps in the Padres' 2016 season for EVT. Now I focus more on the Tijuana Xolos soccer team, get press passes for every home game and write consistently about the team for EVT.

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