Mayaguëz Indios Head To Playoffs Thanks To Surprising Head Coach: J.J. Barea • Latino Sports

Basketball

Mayaguëz Indios Head To Playoffs Thanks To Surprising Head Coach: J.J. Barea

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Mayagüez, PR – Puerto Rico is going through some serious financial crisis, but visiting the island one can hardly tell. This is especially true when attending any of the islands franchise sports, in this case basketball.

Puerto Ricans love sports and it is evident by the high level of competitive sports that the island participates in here and internationally. However, among the top and most popular are baseball and basketball.

Yesterday I had the opportunity to attend the decisive and critical game between the home team Mayagüez Indios (Indians for you linguistically challenged individuals) and the Piratas de Quebradilla (Pirates), but first a little back round. Several weeks ago the Indios looked like they were out of any playoff contention. They have a good team with talent, but the results were mediocre and the team was playing below .500.

Then due to some administrative changes, the team was able to bring in Mayagüez native, José Juan Barea, the Dallas Mavericks point guard, not as a player, but as head coach. The decision needed special NBA approval since the NBA was still in the last leg of the championship series. Though the Mavericks were not playing there are some specific rules of when an NBA player can get involved with basketball outside the NBA season.

Since Barea became head coach the Indios have show a new light and been playing well enough to "photo finish" their way into a playoff spot. (Photo Latino Sports)

Since Barea became head coach the Indios have show a new light and been playing well enough to “photo finish” their way into a playoff spot. (Photo Latino Sports)

Since Barea’s leadership the team has taken off and as of yesterday they have won 9 of its last 15 games. If Mayagüez would have lost yesterday, they would have been eliminated and the Guayama Brujos would have been able to enter the playoff finals.

Yesterday’s 95-67 victory of the Piratas de Quebradilla will now have Mayagüez in a playoff run, for the first time since 2014. The hometown fans of approximately 3000 packed the Palacio Deportivo coliseum and many who could not attend were either watching on Direct TV and one local station, or listening to this critical game on local radio.

Quebradilla had already a secured a playoff birth, but the game was critical for Mayagüez that is considered a sports minded town here in the West coast of Puerto Rico. Now they will face the leaders of the Puerto Rican Basketball League the, Santeros de Aguada. Aguada is only about a 20-minute drive from Mayagüez so we can expect a major turnout for the West coast playoff game on Monday night.

Barea has demonstrated that he has the talent to coach and this will open many doors for him now and after his NBA days are over

About Julio Pabón

Julio is President and Founder of Latino Sports LLC., the parent company of Latinosports.com. Julio is a product of the South Bronx where he still lives and runs his businesses. Julio has written and has been interviewed for numerous publication and networks on sports & political issues. He has been an activist promoting social justice and respect for all communities. He is a recognized motivational speaker, was an adjunct professor of American History and presently volunteer's as a lecturer in local South Bronx High Schools. His primary goal is to make Latinosports.com a multi-facet sports portal that will engender social and economic empowerment to the Latino community.

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