Tijuana Zonkeys: A Championship For Tijuana In Heartfelt Night

Credit: EVT Sports

Credit: EVT Sports

Tijuana, Mexico

The Tijuana Zonkeys played Game 6 of the 2018 CIBACOPA final series against Halcones de Obregon this Thursday, July 19.

Los Burro-Zebras had a 3-2 lead in the series heading into that match and were just a win away from obtaining their third-ever CIBACOPA championship.

The border city team completed the task in hand and defeated the team from Sonora by a score of 87-73 to claim the league title. The game was not easy by any stretch of the word as the Zonkeys suffered a 10-point deficit at one point in the clash. James Penny’s team managed to cut down that deficit from 10 points to just four by halftime, which heavily impacted the result.

Mychal Ammons talked to EVT after the suspenseful game and talked about the importance of that second quarter. Ammons said. “It was very important, we knew we started out flat and we knew that this wasn’t a team that was going to stop fighting. We just had to keep our head down and keep on pushing, keep on fighting.”

Ammons lived a very emotional night as he not only came away with his first-ever championship, but was also named the MVP of the 2018 CIBACOPA season. The 26-year-old had played basketball in the Philippines, Macedonia, Slovakia, Argentina and Qatar and had never enjoyed a championship. When asked if it was the best moment of his career, Ammons replied by saying, “Of course, it’s my first championship.”

The South Alabama alumni also talked about his recognition as the MVP of the league. Ammons said, “I have to thank my team and my coach for putting me in this position to be successful. I have to thank these fans, they really know how to motivate you and it’s a beautiful thing to see your hard work pay off.”

Ammons described the moment as “A dream come true” and as a “Cinderella story” as well. The 26-year-old was not the only player that was living a high-point as Leon Gibson III also expressed his emotions. Gibson said, “I’m very happy. I’m glad that we won as a team and just overall how we played as a team. I’m just lost for words, I’m too happy right now.”

Veteran Luis “Chupa” Ramirez was the top scorer on the night and told media that his playing career had come to a close. Another player that announced his retirement from professional basketball was Trayvon Lathan, who was honored after the game. Lathan was presented with a special jersey in honor of his career and left on a high note as the captain of the Tijuana Zonkeys.

Lathan gave a special thank you to the fans that made their presence at the Auditorio Municipal de Tijuana. Lathan said, “I thank you, guys. I’ve never seen a crowd this big. Thank you guys so much and I’m going to miss you guys.” The auditorium was sold-out and the fans really gave it their maximum effort like the players on the court.

The night was an emotional and significant night in the border city as the Zonkeys gifted the city of Tijuana with the joy of another championship.

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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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