Since 2010 Tijuana Zonkeys represents the whole personality of the most busy Mexican border in the world. Basketball and local culture paired up with a name in English, devised to penetrate better in a Tijuanense mind. Prepare to meet a unique team within the Basketball Circuit of the Pacific Coast (Cibacopa).
The name Zonkeys comes from the way American —or Gringo— tourists named the locally traditional donkeys with painted stripes (resembling zebras) that adorn Avenida Revolución, in Downtown Tijuana. For decades now, the Zebra-Donkeys are a customary postcard of the city.
Our objective is clear: continue obtaining titles for Tijuana and marking its basketball history. We are as renewed as ever for the upcoming 2020 Season to make sure the Trophy returns home. But it’s not all about championships; our aim is to provide and improve basketball facilities and sporting events for the local community.
Our efforts are unceasing when it comes to expanding our auditorium Academia Zonkeys; which in its second phase will have a capacity for 2700 people, our beloved basketball fans. Furthermore, our Sports Unit will host the most basketball courts in Tijuana. It’s all for you in our next 2020 Basketball Season.
During the past season we had the presence of James Penny as Coach and the support of Anthony Pedroza as Sports Director. Even though the 2019 Championship did not come to Zonkeys, we reached successfully the Playoffs!
Our biggest success for Zonkeys this year was the construction of the Academia Zonkeys Auditorium by Grupo Atisa; hence becoming the first and only basketball team in Mexico to have its own venue as for today.
With the incorporation of James Penny as Coach, our objective was to become the first Tijuana team to be a champion thrice.
This year, Tijuana Zonkeys won the championship series against Halcones de Ciudad Obregón with 87-73, having in the Municipal Auditorium of Tijuana a great attendance to see the franchise crowned, thus obtaining its third trophy and becoming the only Tri-Champion team in the history of Tijuana.
In Tijuana we always aim high, so the Zonkeys board decided a new stage was in order during 2017. Many pieces were changed to achieve an objective: becoming Champions.
The Sports Management post was taken by the experienced Luis Cuenca, who by then had the same position in a franchise of the National Professional Basketball League (LNBP). As for the role of Coach, returned the renowned David Abramowitz, who lived his second stage with Zonkeys.
Abramowitz had as assistants James Penny and Jorge Salazar, both highly acclaimed within the region.
Regarding the payers, the return of Marcus Morrison was noticeable, one of the most fan-loved players.
The franchise arrived to the year 2016 with the purpose of conquering the third title in the Basketball Circuit of the Pacific Coast (Cibacopa) consecutively; never before achieved in the history of the championship.
In this season, the donkey-zebras became the most regular Cibacopa team by qualifying for the Postseason for the sixth consecutive season; that is, since 2011 it has not been out of the playoffs.
Although the regular season was complicated, Zonkeys managed to be in the fourth place with 22 wins and the same amount of knockdowns for a harvest of 13.5 points.
In the quarterfinal round, Zonkeys beat Caballeros de Culiacán 4 games to 2, to advance in the semifinals against Rayos de Hermosillo with whom they fell. However, Zonkeys became the only team to be in the nearest stage before the final for the fifth consecutive year.
By 2015, the challenge to become champions again was at its peak. To make this possible, the board invited Víctor Ávila as Sports Director, who made an excellent collaboration with Head Coach Ángel González. They both made the necessary changes for the team to become more competitive.
The great level of Arim Solares —one fine MVP— had a lot to do in the matter, since his talent was the basis of the double championship.
The title was not easy for the team, since they started a 0-3 tournament, meaning they were never able to get to the first place, as had happened in the previous season.
In addition, in the postseason the team had a very complicated series against Rayos de Hermosillo, from which they managed getting up in the semifinals to sweep Náuticos de Mazatlán.
The final, unlike 2014, was as a visitor and also in a seventh game, where Tijuana was crowned with 80-56.
This year is when the story of our first Championship occurred. In part, by the arrival of the experienced Ángel González in March 2014 to give form and playing style to the Tijuana Zonkeys team; who until then had only been in the semifinals.
Along González came the experience of Omar Quintero, James Penny; who was the MVP of the final and the cunning of Marcus Morrison.
The donkey-zebras defeated Caballeros de Culiacán in a series that had to go through seven games. The last match was held within a spectacular full house in the Municipal Auditorium of Tijuana, where Tijuana won 84 points to 74.
The first season of Tijuana Zonkeys meant a lot of learning. It was the first approach to playing the Basketball Circuit of the Pacific Coast (Cibacopa).
The team did not get a victory in the 2010 season, ending with a record of 0-7, in addition to 528 points in favor by 581 against. The champion of that year’s tournament was Caballeros de Culiacán.
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