Deandre Ayton, Eric Gordon, Bahamas beat Argentina in tournament finals

Aug 20, 2023, 7:08 PM | Updated: 8:38 pm

(Phoenix Suns X screenshot)

(Phoenix Suns X screenshot)

Phoenix Suns players Deandre Ayton and Eric Gordon represented Team Bahamas in the 82-75 win in the Pre-Olympic Qualifying Tournament of the Americas Final over Argentina in their quest to qualify for the Olympics.

Bahamas reached the finals with a win over Uruguay in the semifinals while Argentina edged out Chile. Both the Bahamas and Argentina faced off in group stage with Ayton’s squad coming out victorious to top the group.

Ayton came out of the gates cold, starting 1-for-8 from the field in the first half including a corner three that hit off the side of the backboard (he finished 0-for-2 from deep). He played all but 24 seconds of the first half.

The big man finished the game with 10 points on 5-for-14 shooting in 38 minutes. Despite the poor shooting, Ayton gobbled up 21 rebounds (five offensive) of the team’s 41 total.

Argentina took a four-point lead after the third quarter before the Bahamas ultimately roared back for the win in the fourth due to three massive plays by Gordon.

Gordon added 27 points (game-high) on 8-of-13 shooting and grabbed three rebounds in 33 minutes. He hit a series of clutch threes to secure the win in a tight game.

The Bahamas did not shoot the ball well as a collective, shooting just 42% from the field and a much better 44% from three.

The Suns center took a much different role with the Bahamian team throughout the qualifying run, becoming a very big vocal leader in the huddle, alongside Buddy Hield, for all of the players.

Argentina’s Facundo Campazzo — who many fans in the Valley may remember from the 2022 playoff series against the Denver Nuggets — led Argentina with 14 points on 6-of-14 shooting and a whopping 17 assists.

The Bahamas now advance to Olympic qualifying next July while Argentina will miss its first Olympics since 2000.

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Deandre Ayton, Eric Gordon, Bahamas beat Argentina in tournament finals