Tijuana Zonkeys Split Two-game Series in Guasave, Move Up to Third Place in CIBACOPA

Credit: Zonkeys

Credit: Zonkeys

The Tijuana Zonkeys had a brief road trip where the border city side visited Frayles De Guasave for a two-game set.

Going into the series, Guasave had been a solid team and a decent test was expected for the ‘Burro-Zebras’. David Abramowitz was still without Marcus Morrison or Luis Ramirez for this series, but with the new signings, Tijuana has made the absences not as vital.

The first game of the series proved to be a dominant 90-83 victory for the Zonkeys. The first quarter ended with the border city side down 30-28. But after that quarter, the ‘Burro-Zebras’ held a lead for most of the game, going into the fourth quarter with a 70-63 lead. The Zonkeys did end up taking advantage of their lead and won the first game of the two-game set. The top performer of the game was Guasave’s Travis Franklin with 29 points, but Tijuana had a solid team-effort that paved the way for the big away win. San Diego native, Karim Rodriguez, was the top scorer for David Abramowitz, scoring 22 points and going 4-for-5 in three-point opportunities.

The other San Diego native on the team, Dalante Dunklin, also had a solid game, getting himself nine points with six rebounds, six assists, and a block. The other fresh signing, Dominic Cheek, came up big again for the ‘Burro-Zebras’, obtaining 17 points with six rebounds, six assists, and a block. The standing captain, Trayvon Lathan, kept his consistency, netting 20 points with seven rebounds. The bench also was solid for David Abramowitz, getting 12 points, led by Jose Carlos Zesati who had eight points, going 2-for-2 from long range. The collective effort by the Zonkeys allowed the border city side to get the victory and the two points from the game.

In the second game of the series, fortunes turned for the Tijuana Zonkeys as Guasave ended up with the 93-81 victory at home. The Striped Donkeys never held a lead in the game and were down going into each of the four quarters. Going into the fourth quarter, Guasave had a sizeable 11-point lead and extended it, the game finishing 93-81 in the Frayles favor. Former D-League player, Travis Franklin, came up big for Guasave again, getting 30 points. Elijah Pittman, from the home team, also had a huge performance, but defensively, providing five rebounds and five blocks. For the Zonkeys, the main standouts from the team were Leon Gibson III and Karim Rodriguez. The San Diego native, Rodriguez, provided 19 points while Gibson got himself another double-double to add to his season, getting 25 points and 10 rebounds.

San Diego native, Dalante Dunklin, had himself another solid performance from the point guard slot, getting 12 points with four rebounds. A big downfall for the border city team was the inconsistency from long range. The Zonkeys went an underwhelming 3-for-15 from three-point range, Dominic Cheek and Jose Carlos Zesati, specifically, went 1-for-8 collectively. The match was a disappointing result for Tijuana, but the border city franchise still came out of this series as one of the best teams in the CIBACOPA. The Zonkeys are now in third place in the CIBACOPA with 31 points, just behind Obregon and Hermosillo. The ‘Burro-Zebras’ will now return home for a four-game homestand and will start it with a two-game series against Guaymas this Tuesday, May 2 and Wednesday, May 3. Vamos Zonkeys!

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Francisco Velasco
Francisco, 21, Chula Vista area, Journalism student at Southwestern College. I have been a Padres fan all my life, did most of the series previews and recaps in the Padres' 2016 season for EVT. Now I focus more on the Tijuana Xolos soccer team, get press passes for every home game and write consistently about the team for EVT.

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