Source : FIBA.com
MAR DEL PLATA (FIBA Americas) - After some surprises, but none that dramatically affected the final group standings, FIBA Americas preliminary round ended on Saturday with Argentina as they only undefeated team.
The eight classified teams will form a single group transferring the points obtained in the games played among them in the first phase. Therefore, Argentina advanced with six points, followed by Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Brazil (5), Uruguay, Venezuela, Canada (4) and Panama (3).
Besides winless Cuba, it was expected to be the closest group of the tournament.
All of the games between the four top teams were defined by 12 points or less, including an overtime finish in Venezuela's 103-98 victory over Canada.
Dominican Republic handled the biggest upset as they beat Brazil 79-74, after having lost to Canada for one point. Al Horford led the team in scoring with an average of 20,5 points per game and 8,75 rebounds.
The tournament leader in rebounding with 12,5 per game is Jack Michael Martínez, who also contributed 16,3 points.
Brazil started greatly as they defeated Venezuela and Canada before their only tournament loss on Friday.
Marcelo Huertas stood up when Canada was leading 50-47 with three assists and eight points in a row for a 15-0 run for a key Brazilian win.
Barcelona Regal's point guard leads FIBA Americas in assists with an average of six per game.
Venezuela started slow with two losses but was able to change on time to beat Canada and accumulate one win for the second round.
Greivis Vásquez contributed 23 points per game for a tournament-high.
Argentina finished the Preliminary round as the only unbeaten team with a 4-0 record.
"It wasn't the most difficult group but we did what we had to," said Manu Ginóbili after the team's last win over Panama 90-71. "We will now have four tough games in four consecutive days that will show us where we really are"
The only team to challenge the hosts was Puerto Rico (3-1), which beat easily their other three opponents.
Uruguay did not fail in their must-win game against Panama to secure the third place and points for the second phase.