Source : VICENTE L. PANETTA, Associated Press
MAR DEL PLATA, Argentina (AP)—Brazil and Argentina won their final second-round matches at the Olympic basketball qualifying tournament for the Americas on Thursday, setting the matchups for Saturday’s semifinals.
Brazil defeated Puerto Rico 94-72 and Argentina downed the Dominican Republic 84-58.
In Saturday’s semifinals, Brazil faces the Dominican Republic and Argentina is up against Puerto Rico. The winners move to Sunday’s finals.
The two finalists qualify automatically for the 2012 London Olympics. The third- through fifth-place teams earn spots in a qualifying tournament just before the games, which will award several more berths for London.
Venezuela defeated Uruguay 92-80 on Thursday to clinch fifth place. In the day’s other match, Panama edged Canada 91-89.
The United States won the world championship last year and has already qualified for London.
Marcus Vinicius scored 18 points for Brazil and Tiago Splitter added 17.
Brazil and Argentina finished with 13 points in the qualifying standings, followed by Puerto Rico with 12 and the Dominican Republic with 11.
Luis Scola of the Houston Rockets had 25 points and Manu Ginobili of the San Antonio Spurs added 17 in Argentina’s victory.
“We clearly won the game and the players were very good defensively,” Argentina coach Julio Lamas said.
Hector Romero scored 23 points to help Venezuela defeat Uruguay.
Gary Forbes scored 39 points—11 of 13 on three-point attempts—in Panama’s upset over Canada. Carl English led Canada with 24.