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Argentina, U.S. seal semifinals berthsCanada at FIBA Americas

Argentina, U.S. seal semifinals berthsCanada at FIBA Americas

Argentina, which trailed by 17 points early in the second half, scored the last six points of regulation and beat Brazil 86-79 in overtime to remain unbeaten in the Americas basketball tournament.
Argentina (6-0), which had already secured a semifinal berth, will close the second round Thursday against the United States (6-0), which remained undefeated with a 118-79 victory over Uruguay.
In other games, Canada downed Mexico 97-80 and Puerto Rico thrashed Venezuela 92-63.
Regardless of the outcome of the matchup of unbeatens, Argentina did what it had hoped to accomplish: avoid the U.S. in the semifinals. They will finish as the first and second seeds and can't meet until the championship game.
The top two teams in this tournament receive berths in the Beijing Olympics and the third-, fourth- and fifth-place finishers advance to an Olympic qualifying tournament next July.
Luis Scola, who signed with the Houston Rockets, had 23 points and 12 rebounds for Argentina.
"The United States really dominates," Scola said. "They have a really good team. Everybody is really committed but we are committed, too. We go out there and play to win like we play every game else. Maybe we lose by 50, maybe we win, who knows, but we have to go out there and compete. That's why we are here."
LeBron James was 11-for-11 from the field, making all four of his 3-point attempts, and scored 26 points in the first half to lead the United States over Uruguay.
In a sensational display of speed and power, James raised his tournament-leading shooting percentage to an almost comical 79.7 percent (47-of-59). He is 14-of-20 from 3-point range, a 70 percent mark that also leads the event.
Despite playing only 14 minutes, he fell two points short of the American record in an Olympic qualifying game shared by Carmelo Anthony and Allen Iverson.
Esteban Batista, who played 70 games for the Atlanta Hawks over the last two seasons, scored 20 points for Uruguay.
Amare Stoudemire finished with 19 points and Deron Williams had 14 for the United States. Kobe Bryant and Tayshaun Prince added 13 apiece.
Earlier Levon Kendall and Denham Brown led six players in double figures as Canada beat Mexico and moved within one victory of the semifinals.
A victory over Puerto Rico on Thursday in the final game of the second round would mean a semifinal spot for Canada and a chance to play for one of this tournament's two berths in the Beijing Olympics.
The third-, fourth- and fifth-place finishers receive bids to an Olympic qualifying tournament next July.
"This was huge because we gave ourselves a chance to get there," said Kendall, who had 14 points and 11 rebounds. "We knew we clinched at least fifth today with the win and now it's the same tomorrow, another must win to get to the semifinals."
Brown had 11 points and 11 rebounds, helping Canada to a 61-30 rebound advantage.
Omar Quintero had 20 points for Mexico, which ends the second round Thursday against Venezuela already eliminated from the semifinals and with almost no chance of even finishing fifth.
Larry Ayuso hit half of Puerto Rico's 12 3-pointers and scored 25 points to lead the Caribbean island over Venezuela.
The win means Puerto Rico (2-4) still has a chance to reach the semifinals. Puerto Rico would have to beat Canada in its final second-round game Thursday and then prevail in a two- and possible three-team tiebreaker.
Puerto Rico could still finish fifth even with a loss to Canada on Thursday.
Hector Romero had 11 points for Venezuela (1-5), which had been eliminated from the semifinals but could still find its way into a multi-team tiebreaker for fifth place with a victory in its closing game against Mexico on Thursday.
Ayuso finished 6-for-10 from 3-point range and Puerto Rico was 12-for-29 from beyond the arc. Puerto Rico entered the game third in the tournament in 3-pointers with 9.8 per game, behind only the United States (13.5) and Argentina (11.1).
Ayuso hit four 3s in the first half as Puerto Rico went up 47-35 and the lead reached as many as 31 points.
Angelo Reyes had nine points and 13 rebounds for Puerto Rico, while Peter John Ramos added nine points and 10 rebounds. Carlos Arroyo, who plays for the Orlando Magic, had 13 points, including three 3-pointers, and seven assists.


Updated : 2021-06-13 09:47 GMT+08:00