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Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Former Tiger Waki Williams Playing Professionally in Mexico

Correcaminos bring home pair of victories

By ROY HESS, The Brownsville (TX) Herald

The Matamoros Correcaminos left on a road trip last Thursday mired in a three-game losing streak. They returned home in a better frame of mind on Sunday after having won both of their weekend games.

"Those two victories helped us a lot because it’s so hard to win on the other team’s court in this league," first-year Matamoros coach Mariano "Bean" Ayala said.

On Saturday night, the Correcaminos prevailed over the Gambusinos of Fresnillo 95-94 in a game that went down to the final seconds. That victory came a night after the Correcaminos posted a 93-82 win at the Barreteros of Zacatecas.

The two victories improved the Correcaminos to 9-7 in Liga Nacional de Baloncesto Profesional (LNBP) action.

The Barreteros, who lost to the Reynosa Correcaminos 110-89 on Saturday night, are now 5-11, while the Gambusinos are 3-13.

Matamoros remains tied for ninth place in the overall LNBP standings. The 24-team league’s top three ballclubs as the LNBP season reaches its midway point are the Lobos Grises of Durango (15-1), the Correcaminos of Reynosa (13-3) and the Soles of Mexicali (13-3).

On Saturday night against the Gambusinos, the Matamoros Correcaminos trailed 24-19 after one quarter, 53-48 at halftime and 73-71 after three periods. The Correcaminos outpointed the Gambusinos 24-21 in the final quarter to earn the narrow victory behind 30 points from Mike Gardener, 27 from Noe Alonzo and 19 from Waki Williams, a 6-foot-9 forward who is a new addition to the team.

Ayala said Williams just graduated from the University of Memphis and is replacing Gerald Burris on the Correcaminos’ roster. Williams played his senior year for the 33-4 Tigers last season.

"Waki is a very smooth rebounder and a great addition to the team," Ayala said. "He’s a lot like Noe — cool, calm and collected on the basketball court."

Meanwhile, it was quite a productive weekend for Gardener, a 5-11 point guard from Detroit. Against the Barreteros on Friday night, he led the Correcaminos with 38 points, while Alonzo added 28 and Williams 12.

Unlike Saturday night, the Correcaminos led at the end of every quarter against the Barreteros.
Matamoros will try to extend its two-game winning streak to three when it plays host to the Pioneros of Cancun (6-10) at 8 p.m. on Thursday at the Multidiscipline Gym on the Universidad Autonoma of Tamaulipas campus in Matamoros.

The Correcaminos will play host to La Ola of Mexico City (9-7) on Saturday night before going back on the road for a pair of games next week.

rhess@brownsvilleherald.com

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