Scheduling conflicts dot second round of FIBA tournament

Updated: August 26, 2003, 7:16 PM ET

By Chris Bernucca SportsTicker Pro Basketball Editor

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico - Jermaine O'Neal was not about to let it happen again.

Redeeming himself and Team USA for last year's historic loss to Argentina, O'Neal had 22 points, 10 rebounds and one huge blocked shot down the stretch in a hotly contested 94-86 victory at the FIBA Tournament of the Americas.

O'Neal and Elton Brand are the two players on Team USA who were members of last year's squad, which finished an embarrassing sixth at the World Championships in Indianapolis, losing three times. The road to ruin was paved by Argentina, which led from start to finish in an 87-80 win that was the first by an opposing country against NBA players in international competition.

The setback was particularly galling for O'Neal, an All-Star forward of the Indiana Pacers. Leading up to this tournament, he said he was out for revenge and that the rematch with the Argentines was something he would take personally.

At no time did O'Neal show that more than in the closing minutes. With Team USA clinging to an 87-83 lead, O'Neal came off his man and soared to block a driving layup by Argentina's Fabricio Oberto that could have made it a two-point game with just under two minutes left.

The block triggered a fast break that Vince Carter hammered home for an 89-83 advantage, and Team USA held on.

One night after losing to the United States, Canada faces Brazil at 10 p.m. EDT, with a quick turnaround before Wednesday afternoon's matinee with the Dominican Republic.

Puerto Rico plays the Dominican Republic and Venezuela meets Mexico in Tuesday's other games.


This story is from's automated news wire. Wire index