Scola's all-around play helps top Uruguay; Puerto Rico, Canada prevail

8/24/2007 - NBA

LAS VEGAS -- Luis Scola, one of the few Argentina stars
playing in the FIBA Americas tournament, scored 16 points to help
the defending Olympic gold medalists beat Uruguay 90-69 Thursday.

Pablo Prigioni led Argentina with 20 points, while Roman
Gonzalez added 15 and keyed a strong defensive effort that helped
contain Uruguay center Esteban Batista, who managed only seven
points on 3-of-10 shooting.

Playing its tournament opener, Argentina led by only seven at
halftime. But Uruguay (1-1), which beat Panama 88-84 on Wednesday
in overtime, faded in the second half.

Argentina won gold in 2004, but is trying to qualify for Beijing
without the core of that team. Manu Ginobili and Fabricio Oberto,
starters for the NBA champion San Antonio Spurs, plus Chicago's
Andres Nocioni and Charlotte's Walter Herrmann all decided to take
the summer off.

But the Argentineans still have Scola, who after years of
playing in Europe is headed to the Houston Rockets after they
acquired his rights recently from the Spurs. He made 6 of 12 shots
and added six rebounds, four assists and two steals.

Emilio Taboada scored 14 points and Fernando Martinez had 11 for
Uruguay, which is off Friday.

In other action on Thursday:

Puerto Rico 108, Panama 67

Carlos Arroyo rebounded from a dismal opening game with 16 points and eight assists, leading Puerto Rico to a victory over Panama.

Ricardo Sanchez scored 19 points and Carmelo Lee had 17 for Puerto Rico (1-1), which looked sharp the day after being upset by Mexico. Arroyo was the biggest problem in that game, missing all 10
field goal attempts and scoring four points.

But the Orlando Magic guard helped the Puerto Ricans race to a 12-0 lead, and they turned the game into a rout in the second quarter.

Gary Forbes, who plays at the University of Massachusetts, scored 19 points for Panama (0-2), which played with little energy following Wednesday's overtime loss to Uruguay. Jaime Lloreda and
Jamar Warren each added 13.

Canada 80, Venezuela 73

Samuel Dalembert scored 18 points, six in the
final 2:05, and Canada beat Venezuela.

The Philadelphia 76ers center, who was born in Haiti and
recently became a Canadian citizen, also grabbed eight rebounds and
blocked five shots as the Canadians evened their record at 1-1.

Hector Romero scored 23 points for Venezuela (0-2), which was
back on the floor about 17 hours after the completion of its 112-69
loss to the United States on Wednesday night.

Dalembert's basket tied it at 70 with 2:05 remaining before
Romero made one free throw to give Venezuela its last lead.
Dalembert powered his way inside for a three-point play for a 73-71
lead with 1:32 to go, then added another free throw 28 seconds

Romero hit two free throws to bring Venezuela within one, but
Canada's Jermaine Anderson knocked down a jumper with 38 seconds left for a 76-73
lead. He later added a pair of free throws and a layup.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.