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Barbaso leads Brazil to the semifinals of the Americas

Barbaso leads Brazil to the semifinals of the Americas

Leandro Barbosa's 32 points led Brazil to a 96-62 victory over Uruguay on Thursday and a berth in the semifinals of the Americas tournament.
Brazil (4-3) clinched third place and will play the loser of Thursday night's United States-Argentina game in Saturday's semifinals.
Brazil lost to Argentina in overtime on Wednesday in their second-round meeting, and fully expect to face them again on Saturday given the U.S. is overwhelming favorite to win.
"Since we lost yesterday we came in with a lot more energy and was more physical," said Brazil center Nene. "We'll bring that energy Saturday. It will be a big game for both teams."
The top two teams in the tournament earn berths in the Beijing Olympics, while the next three finishers advance to an Olympic qualifying tournament next July. With a place in the final here enough for Olympic qualification, everyone had wanted to avoid the U.S. in the semifinals.
"We'll spend tomorrow relaxing and try to find our mistakes against Argentina and see how we'll play them," Brazil's Tiago Splitter said, overlooking the fact that the next opponent hadn't actually been decided. "Argentina plays the USA today but we expect to see Argentina."
After playing eight games in nine days, the teams will have Friday off.
Uruguay (2-5) scored the opening basket of the second half to get within 44-39, but Brazil used its depth and size advantage to take over. Brazil scored 10 straight points and held Uruguay to just three more field goals in the quarter in opening a 74-45 lead.
"We knew we had to play the first part of the third quarter well because that is when they could change the game," Splitter said. "We got our confidence, made passes and opened the score."
Esteban Batista, the only player in the tournament to average a double-double with 21.3 points and 12.7 rebounds, finished with 17 points and 10 rebounds to lead Uruguay.
"It was tough today but we tried," Uruguay coach Alberto Espasandin said. "But Esteban couldn't handle it all by himself."
Uruguay still had a chance to finish fifth and play in the Olympic qualifying tournament, needing Canada to beat Puerto Rico later Thursday. If Uruguay, Puerto Rico and Mexico finish tied for wins, Uruguay would finish higher by way of head-to-head records.
"They are very good players. It was tough but we competed," said the 6-foot-10 Batista, who played for the Atlanta Hawks and was the first native of Uruguay to sign an NBA contract. "Today we played for the qualification and we had a job to do and couldn't. Now we have to wait."


Updated : 2021-05-06 12:04 GMT+08:00