The 2018 CIBACOPA season is down to four teams that are seeking the championship, including the Tijuana Zonkeys.
The border city side defeated Caballeros de Culiacan in the first round, four games to two and is inching closer to its third title in franchise history.
Los Burro-Zebras had a very comfortable 82-70 win in the sixth game of the series and is now set to face Nauticos de Mazatlan in the semifinals. The port city team knocked out Pioneros de Los Mochis in the first round, four games to three in what really proved to be an intense series. Game 7 even had to be decided in overtime as Mazatlan took a 73-71 win to advance to the semifinal stage.
During the regular season, Tijuana did struggle against the team from Sinaloa with one win and three losses in four games. The lone win came back on May 9, when the Zonkeys defeated Mazatlan 95-86 at the Auditorio Municipal de Tijuana.
Nauticos do have a very solid team that should be able to give James Penny’s team a hard-fought contest in this series. One of the standout players on Mazatlan is Akeem Scott, the team captain, that managed to average just below 20 points per game in the regular season along with six assists per game as well. Another intriguing player on Eric Weissling’s team is Michael Lizarraga, who is deaf and averaged just under 15 points per game in the regular season.
The Zonkeys also have a very solid team that features plenty of experienced players that were on the team when it won back-to-back titles from 2015-2016. Some of these players include Luis “Chupa” Ramirez, Trayvon Lathan and Mychal Ammons. The players will be Ammons, who averaged 16 points per game in the regular season, along with Leon Gibson III, who reinforced the team late in the season, but has been a great help so far.
This series should be very exciting and intense between two very talented teams in the Mexican basketball circuit. Game 1 and 2 will be played in Tijuana as the series starts this Saturday, June 30 and continues on Monday, July 2, before the series shifts to Sinaloa.
Francisco, 26, Chula Vista/Tijuana. 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 local soccer scene. Tijuana Xolos, San Diego Loyal, San Diego Wave.