Universo evens up Brazilian basketball final against Flamengo

RIO DE JANEIRO, June 13-- On the road at Flamengo, Universo was able to pull off the same feat on Saturday, winning Game 2 81-71 to tie the best-of-five finals of the New Brazilian Basketball league (NBB) 1-1.

Knowing that offensive turnovers and poor execution were the reason for the loss in Game 1 at home, Universo turned the game around and came back to win Game 2.

"Today's victory came in the third quarter. In Brasilia, we were leading Flamengo but allowed them to make a strong comeback. Today we did not allow them to repeat the act, we toughened up our defense," said star point guard Alex Garcia.

"Now, it is a best-of-three series. Tomorrow, we will have to keep our defense tight. If we focus solely on the offense, there is no way to beat Flamengo," said Garcia.

Universo's defense kept Marcelo Machado to a modest 16 points, well below his playoff average. Their offense was spurred by Garcia, scoring 17, and Valtinho, adding 12 points, eight assists and six rebounds.

Game 3 will be held in Rio de Janeiro on June 14.