A Nice Start for JT...

A Nice Start for JT...

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BYU senior-to-be Jonathan Tavernari was the hero as Brazil opened play in the Torneio Internacional de Almada, this morning in Portugal.

JT had a team-high 25 points, and the game-winning three-point basket in the closing seconds as Brazil came from behind to defeat Angola, 89-86. According to press reports, Tavernari made the "miracle" shot despite being well-guarded.

Brazil trailed 46-39 at the break before rallying for the win--the first of three games in three days Brazil will play in the exhibition tourney that serves as a tune-up for next week's Lusophone Games tournament, in Lisbon.

JT's performance this week and next is crucial to his hopes of making the final cuts for the senior national team that will compete in the Tournament of the Americas next month in Puerto Rico. National team coach Moncho Monsalve says only three or four players from the "B" team playing in Portugal are likely to make the "A" team, comprised of NBA stars Anderson Varejao, Leandro Barbosa, European stalwart Tiago Splitter, and numerous other Brazilian pros--including former Cougar Rafael Araujo.

Brazil plays Finland on Saturday, before finishing tourney play Sunday versus host Portugal. Former Runnin' Ute Hanno Mottola has rejoined the Finnish national team after a brief retirement, but it is not know whether he'll play in this tournament.


Just FYI, I remain on vacation out-of-state and as such have been taking a break from the blog, but I am tracking JT's efforts with the national team and am posting as results are known (utilizing my rusty but still serviceable Portuguese language skills).

I'll be back in full blog mode next week, and looking ahead, I'll be in Las Vegas and reporting from the Mountain West Conference Football Media Days July 20th through the 22nd.


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