Carlos Delfino scored nine points in Argentina's game-opening 22-4 run and the South Americans remained unbeaten with an 85-70 victory over Canada in the second round of the Americas championship on Tuesday.
Also, Venezuela beat Uruguay 88-79.
Argentina doesn't mind being the other unbeaten team beside the United States. While the U.S. has been drawing the attention on its home soil with its roster of NBA stars, Argentina just keeps winning in hopes of securing one of the two berths from this competition for the Beijing Olympics.
"This was our second-most important game of the tournament to not play the U.S. in the semifinals," Delfino said. "We played good because we knew this was our second final."
If Argentina felt this was the second-most important preliminary game, the first would be against Brazil on Wednesday. The game against the United States on Thursday to close the second round won't matter. Argentina will have already clinched second place and that means avoiding the U.S. in the semifinals and a much better chance at getting that Olympic bid.
"Brazil is our big game," Argentina coach Sergio Hernandez said. "Then we have to win a semifinal to get what we came here for."
Argentina dominated Canada from the tip and the halftime lead was 46-16. Delfino had 12 of his 15 points in the opening half and Argentina held Canada to 25 percent shooting (7-for-28) over the first two quarters with the North Americans missing 13 of their first 16.
David Thomas had 13 points for Canada, which closes the second round against Mexico and Puerto Rico, two possible wins that would mean a semifinal berth, although it likely would be against the United States.
The third- through fifth-place finishers here advance to an Olympic qualifying tournament next July where three more berths are available.
Luis Scola had 23 points for Argentina.
Hector Romero had 35 points and 11 rebounds in Venezuela's 88-79 victory over Uruguay.
Romero scored six points in the final 44 seconds for Venezuela, which led 79-67 with 3:25 to play only to see Uruguay close within one point.
Venezuela finished 13-for-27 from 3-point range, almost double their average of 6.6 3s for the tournament, but struggled to score late. It missed five shots and committed a turnover during a 2-minute scoring drought that allowed Uruguay to cut it to 79-78 with 1:40 left on a 3-pointer by Leandro Garcia-Mormes.
Carlos Cedeno scored on a layup off an inbounds play with 1:20 left for Venezuela to end the drought. After Uruguay got within 81-79 with 1:10 left, Romero went 4-for-4 from the free-throw line and scored on a drive to seal the win.
Romero, who finished 11-for-23 from the field and had four 3-pointers, entered the game averaging 18 points per game.
Manuel Barrios was 5-for-6 on 3-pointers and added 19 points for Venezuela, which closes the second round with games against Puerto Rico and Mexico.
Esteban Batista had 21 points and 20 rebounds for Uruguay, which finished the first round as the second seed from its pool, but started the second round with losses to Canada and Venezuela. Its last two games in the second round are against the United States and Brazil.