Scola, Delfino pace Argentina's comeback; Canada, Panama victorious

8/25/2007 - NBA

LAS VEGAS -- Luis Scola had 22 points and 11 rebounds to lead Argentina, which trailed by 14 points in the first half, to an 87-75 victory over Puerto Rico on Friday night in the opening round
of the FIBA Americas tournament.

Scola, who has signed with the Houston Rockets, was most of the
offense early for Argentina (2-0), which fell behind 31-17 30
seconds into the second quarter. Scola scored the first five points
in a 14-2 run that got Argentina within 35-33 with 1:31 left.

Carlos Delfino, who plays for the Toronto Raptors, added 15
points for Argentina, which was 20-for-28 from the free throw line
while Puerto Rico was 14-for-16.

Larry Ayuso had 22 points for Puerto Rico (1-2), while Carlos Arroyo of the Orlando Magic added 20.

John Peter Ramos, Puerto Rico's 7-foot-2 center who played
briefly for the Washington Wizards in 2004-05, had eight points and
12 rebounds, but he fouled out with 9:10 to play on a charging
call. He injured his left leg on the play and had to be helped to
the bench. There was no immediate update on his condition.

Scola made two free throws with 4:11 left that gave Argentina
its first lead, 52-51. Antonio Porta followed with a driving basket
to cap a 9-0 run. Argentina went on to lead by as many as 15
points, the last time at 85-70 on a 3 by Delfino with 25 seconds

In other action on Friday:

Canada 93, Virgin Islands 83

Samuel Dalembert had 15 points, eight rebounds and
five blocked shots to lead Canada to a victory over the U.S.
Virgin Islands.

Dalembert, the 6-foot-11 center for the Philadelphia 76ers who
became a Canadian citizen last month, was helped inside by 6-7 Juan
Mendez, who played at Niagara and had 22 points and seven rebounds.
Canada (2-1) shot 63 percent from the field (20-of-32) in taking a
53-40 halftime lead.

Levon Kendall, a 6-10 forward who played at Pittsburgh, scored
the first six points of a 14-2 run that gave Canada an 82-64 lead
with 8:14 to play.

The Virgin Islands (0-2), which lost 123-59 to the United States
in its opener, had one last run, outscoring Canada 13-2 to get
within 86-79 with 3:24 to go. But Carl English, who played on
UNLV's Thomas & Mack Center court several times during his college
career at Hawaii, hit a 3 with 2:46 left to break a 4:04 scoring
drought by Canada and give it an 89-79 lead.

Dalembert finished 5-for-8 from the field as did English, who
had 15 points. Canada shot 52 percent for the game (33-for-64) and
outrebounded the Virgin Islands 39-28. Jermaine Anderson had four
points and 12 assists for Canada, which had assists on all but nine
of its 33 field goals.

Panama 95, Mexico 90

Danilo Pinnock scored 30 points to lead Panama
to a win over Mexico for its first victory of the FIBA Americas tournament.

Pinnock, who played at George Washington, had 21 points in the
first half when Panama (1-2) took a 54-47 lead. His last three
points were free throws in final 2:25 that helped hold off a
closing run by Mexico (1-1), which trailed 80-72 early in the
fourth quarter.

Romel Beck hit a 3-pointer with 2:49 to play that made it 90-86.
Pinnock made two free throws with 2:25 left to get Panama's lead
back to six. After Gustavo Ayon and Beck brought Mexico within
92-90 with a minute left, Pinnock made one of two free throws with
17 seconds left for a three-point lead.

After two fouls by Panama kept Mexico from taking a 3-point
attempt, Beck missed a jumper from the right corner to tie. Jaime
Lloreda made two free throws with 2.2 seconds left for the final

Lloreda, who played at LSU, had 19 points for Panama, while
Antonio Garcia had five points and 13 rebounds.

Beck had 28 points to lead Mexico, which is coached by Nolan
Richardson, who won the NCAA championship at Arkansas in 1994.