Argentina, Mexico remain undefeated in Olympic qualifier
MEXICO CITY (AP) — Luis Scola had 26 points and 13 rebounds and Argentina overcame an 11-point deficit to beat Uruguay 90-87 on Sunday and remain undefeated in the Olympic qualifying tournament.
Mexico also remained percent, beating Puerto Rico 92-86. Hector Hernandez had 28 points and 12 rebounds, and Paul Stoll made a key 3-pointer with 33 seconds left for Mexico.
Also on Sunday, Brady Heslip had 23 points to help Canada rout Panama 103-66 for its fourth straight victory.
Andres Nocioni added 22 points, and Facundo Campazzo had 15 for Argentina.
“Uruguay played a better game, but in the end, Argentina showed that we can win even when we are not at our best,” Argentina coach, Sergio Hernandez said. “The win helps us to pave the road for the semifinals, but right now I’m trying not to get too much into the numbers.”
The top four teams after the four second-round matches will qualify for the semifinals.
Argentina and Mexico are the top teams with eight points each, Canada was second with seven, followed by the Dominican Republic and Venezuela with six each. Panama has five, while Uruguay and Puerto Rico have four each.
The top two teams will get two berths to Rio in 2016. The teams finishing from third to fifth will qualify for the 2016 FIBA Olympic qualifying tournament, set to be played on July 4-10.
Argentina will play Panama on Tuesday. A win will virtually guarantee it a spot in the semifinals.
Canada is inching closer to that goal as well after defeating Panama.
Brady Heslip added 23 points, Andrew Wiggins had 17, and Nik Stauskas 16 for the Canadian team that is improving with every game and is one of the favorites to qualify for its first Olympics since 2000 in Sydney.
“Today we were able to get good rebounds and we got on transition to get easy baskets. We also wear them down by doing a good job on the defensive end,” Canada coach Jay Triano said.
Earlier, Nestor Colmenares scored 19 points and Venezuela broke a two-game losing streak with a 72-68 victory over the Dominican Republic to remain in contention for the semifinals.
Windi Graterol added 11 points for the Venezuelans, who will face Mexico on Tuesday.
The Dominican Republic will play Puerto Rico.