Thu, Aug 30, 2007 - Page 19 News List

US, Argentina advance in FIBA Americas tourney

AFP , LAS VEGAS

The US and Argentina clinched semi-final berths in the FIBA Americas Olympic qualifying tournament on Tuesday to remain unbeaten in the competition.

Argentina secured their spot in Saturday's semi-finals with a display of their offensive depth, cruising past Canada 85-70.

The US, with NBA stars LeBron James, Kobe Bryant and Carmelo Anthony leading the way, eased past Puerto Rico 117-78.

Cleveland Cavaliers star James scored 21 points, Los Angeles Lakers standout Bryant scored 14, Anthony 17 and Michael Redd 15.

Puerto Rico, coming off an upset of Brazil on Monday, was led by Elias Ayuso with 13 points and Carlos Arroyo with 12.

The US blew open the game with a 35-12 spurt in the second quarter. With the game under control, James, Anthony and Bryant spent the fourth quarter on the bench with ice on their knees.

The US have two games left in the second round, including a showdown with Argentina to conclude the round today.

Luis Scola scored 23 points to lead five players in double digits for Argentina. Carlos Delfino scored 15 points, Leonardo Gutierrez added 12 and Roman Gonzalez added 11 and 11 rebounds.

Brazil rebounded from their loss to Puerto Rico on Monday with what could be a tournament-salvaging game with a 104-90 victory over Mexico.

Phoenix Suns guard Leandro Barbosa, the event's leading scorer through five games, had a team-high 21 points for Brazil as they made 15-of-18 shots in the third quarter.

Nene of the Denver Nuggets had 17 points and seven rebounds, while Murilo Da Rosa scored 15 points.

Romel Beck scored a game-high 29 points for Mexico, which couldn't overcome 15 turnovers.

Hector Romero led Venezuela on a run late in the fourth quarter, helping the club hold off Uruguay 88-79.

Venezuela, who led by as many as 15 points early in the fourth, had only a 79-78 lead after Uruguay's Leandro Garcia nailed a 3-pointer near the two-minute mark, but Venezuela grabbed an 85-79 lead with 19 seconds to play.

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