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Scola, unbeaten Argentina rolls through Canada in TOA

8/28/2007 - NBA

LAS VEGAS -- Carlos Delfino, who plays for the Toronto Raptors, scored nine points in Argentina's game-opening 22-4 run and the South Americans remained unbeaten with an 85-70 victory over Canada on Tuesday in the second round of the FIBA
Americas tournament.

Argentina (5-0) dominated Canada (2-3) from the tip and the halftime
lead was 46-16. Delfino had 12 of his 15 points in the opening half
and Argentina held Canada to 25 percent shooting (7-for-28) over
the first two quarters with the North Americans missing 10 of their
first 12 and 13 of their first 16.

David Thomas had 13 points for Canada, which closes the second
round against Mexico and Puerto Rico, two possible wins that would
mean a semifinal berth, although it likely would be against the
United States.

Luis Scola, who signed with the Houston Rockets, had 23 points
for Argentina, which is first or second with the United States in
almost every statistical in the tournament.

In other action on Tuesday:

Venezuela 88, Uruguay 79

Hector Romero had 35 points and 11 rebounds for
Venezuela in a victory over Uruguay in the second
round of the FIBA Americas tournament.

The 6-foot-8 Romero scored six points in the final 44 seconds
for Venezuela (1-4), which led 79-67 with 3:25 to play only to see
Uruguay (2-3) close within one point.

Venezuela finished 13-for-27 from 3-point range, almost double
their average of 6.6 3s for the tournament, but struggled to score
late. It missed five shots and committed a turnover during a
2-minute scoring drought that allowed Uruguay to cut it to 79-78
with 1:40 left on a 3-pointer by Leandro Garcia-Mormes.

Romero, who finished 11-for-23 from the field and had four
3-pointers, entered the game averaging 18 points per game.

Manuel Barrios was 5-for-6 on 3-pointers and added 19 points for
Venezuela, which closes the second round with games against Puerto
Rico and Mexico.

Esteban Batista had 21 points and 20 rebounds for Uruguay, which
finished the first round as the second seed from its pool, but
started the second round with losses to Canada and Venezuela. Its
last two games in the second round are against the United States
and Brazil.

Batista entered the game averaging 21.6 points and a
tournament-best 12.8 rebounds. As was the case against Canada, he
got little help on the boards as Venezuela finished with a 43-39
rebound advantage.

Brazil 104, Mexico 90

Leandro Barbosa, the FIBA America tournament's
leading scorer, had 21 points to lead Brazil to a victory
over Mexico in the second round.

The NBA's Sixth Man of the Year with the Phoenix Suns last
season, Barbosa was 8-for-13 from the field in falling just short
of his tournament average of 23.8.

Brazil (3-2) pulled away from a 24-24 tie early in the second
quarter with an 11-2 run in which Barbosa hit one of his three
3-pointers and made two free throws. The South Americans went on to
take a 53-39 halftime lead and then went ahead by as many as 32
points.

Romel Beck, who played at UNLV, had 29 points for Mexico (1-4),
which again had trouble stopping an opponent. Mexico came into the
game allowing an average of 101.2 points per game, last among the
eight teams that advanced to the second round.

Brazil closes second-round play with games against undefeated
Argentina and Uruguay. Two wins would virtually guarantee Brazil a
spot in the semifinals and one would have them in the hunt to win a
possible tiebreaker to get into the final four.

Mexico, which lost 127-100 to the United States on Monday,
closes with games against Canada and Venezuela and needs two wins
to even have a chance at a top-five finish. Mexico is coached by
Nolan Richardson who led Arkansas to an NCAA championship in 1994.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.