Basketball Osorno: Photo: Vasilios Devletoglou

Published on January 17th, 2014 | by John Lyons

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Tinguiririca and Osorno to lock horns in final

Tinguiririca SF and Osorno get the Liga Nacional Movistar Basketball final underway tomorrow night – and it promises to be a classic.

San Fernando – The anticipation is building ahead of the opening weekend of matches and it´s extremely difficult to pick a winner.

Perhaps Tinguiririca are slight favourites on the basis that they topped the regular season standings and would have home advantage if the five-game series goes to the last match.

Osorno. Photo: Vasilios Devletoglou

However, you would be daft to rule out Osorno´s chances. The Bulls have had an incredible run of form since losing their first four games of the octagonal qualifying group.

After that disastrous start, they picked up their first victory with an 83-82 overtime win at Colegio Los Leones at the end of November and have never looked back. They won ten in a row to march into the play-offs in third place and then saw off highly fancied Boston College to reach the final.

Boston were caught cold in the first quarter of the opening match in Maipú and were never able to get back on terms in that encounter. Even though Osorno´s 11-game winning streak came to an end the following night, they had split the two away matches.

Last weekend they took full advantage to record two home wins (82-75, 77-65) against the Eagles to book their final place 3-1.

It means Tinguiririca, who beat Puerto Varas 3-1 in the semis, must be wary of the same thing happening again this weekend. The San Fernando outfit will want to ensure a 2-0 lead from tomorrow and Sunday´s matches (both 7pm at Gimnasio Marista) to give them breathing space ahead of next weekend´s potential double bill in Osorno.

They will have to try to shut down the Bulls’ American duo Marcus Morrison and Rashad Jones-Jennings. The former has been in particularly hot form recently.

Meanwhile, Tinguiririca have multiple threats and will look to the likes of big Venezuelan Tulio Cobos, American Darrien Mack, captain Patrick Sáez and Franco Morales to unsettle Osorno.

Packed and passionate crowds at both venues are set to make for an exhilarating atmosphere and tight matches can be expected as both teams strive to follow in the footsteps of the league´s previous winners Español de Talca, twice, and Deportes Castro.

In the octagonal, Tinguirirca beat Osorno 79-65 in November, but Osorno gained revenge with an 85-82 victory in San Fernando at the end of December. It all suggests a pulsating finish to the Liga Nacional Movistar season is in store.

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