Published on March 13th, 2014 | by John Lyons


Morrison´s so relieved to see off battling Ecuador

Chilean women´s basketball star Ziomara Morrison admitted she hadn´t expected Ecuador to give her team such a tough time in Thursday night´s thrilling 64-62 win.

Ñuñoa – Chile had edged out Colombia 68-65 in a cracker the night before and the Ecuador match proved just as much a nail-biter.

Ecuador trailed for almost the whole match, but stunned the partisan home crowd by drawing level with just 35 seconds left on the clock. With the score tied at 59-59, Chile held their nerve to sink their free throws and then hang on to the lead in the closing seconds.

Ex-San Antonio Silver Stars centre Morrison, 25, admitted: “I was expecting a match in which we could breathe a little more easily after last night, but no team is going to make it easy for you.

“We had the opportunity to kill the game off when we had the lead, but we couldn´t do it and Ecuador fought until the end.”

Argentina and Chile top the table with six points apiece having won all their three games, while Paraguay are tucked in behind on five. Argentina are hot favourites to reach the final, which means that Chile´s match against the Paraguayans on Friday night (7pm) could well decide who joins them in Sunday´s final.

Morrison, who plays for Turkey´s Ceyhan Belediyespor, added: “It´s going to be important for us tomorrow and the spirit of the team is good after the last couple of results.

“We´re helping each other and the support of the public is fundamental, too. I hope they turn out to support us again against Paraguay.”

Defeat against Ecuador would have been a major blow for Chile´s hopes, but winning in such dramatic fashion will give them a massive boost ahead of the Paraguay showdown.

One of the good things for Chile against Ecuador was that the points were shared around. While Morrison top scored with 16 and came up with some big plays at crucial times, Catalina Abuyeres (12), Jenifer Fuentes (9), Barbara Cousiño (9) and Estefanía Vásquez (8) all made important contributions.

Ecuador´s Dayanna Salcedo top scored in the match with 17 points and didn´t deserve to finish on the losing side. Maria Mora (12), Leyda Macias (11) and Doris Lasso (11) were also in the points.

It wasn´t a full house at the Centro de Entrenamiento Olimpico II, but they certainly made plenty of noise and no one could argue about the entertainment value.

A bigger crowd will be expected on Friday night. While Chile’s women take on Paraguay, the men also face a vital game against Colombia at 9pm.

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