• Argentina win South American duel
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Sep 08, 2010-Argentina and Brazil, the two South American giants took their rivalry to the basketball courts of Istanbul, Turkey as the last of the 16 games of the FIBA World Championship ended on Wednesday, September 7.

If this was a soccer match, the courts would have been full to the rafters as soon as the match was announced and tickets would have sold quite fast. Brazil would have had an edge if the game at hand was volleyball. But this was basketball and the rivalry was as intense as ever especially after Brazil nearly beat Team USA.

It was probably the most exciting game won by Argentina 93-89 to book a date with Lithuania in the quarter finals which start today. Lithuania overcame China 78-67 in an earlier match.

Both teams have met many times at regional and continental competitions, but not at a FIBA World Championship where they have played 5 times, Argentina winning the series 4-1.

The game was balanced and fiery since the start, where both teams displayed an impressive shooting performance in the first quarter. Argentina rested their offense on the secure hands of Luis Scola while Carlos Delfino was on fire from three point range (3-3). Brazil was led by their backcourt of Marcelo Huertas and Leandrinho Barbosa who couldn’t find their post up players and had to shoot from the perimeter.

The first quarter ended tied at 25.Argentina controlled most of the second quarter led by their balanced attack while Brazil struggled against the Argentinean pressure. At the end Marcelo Huertas scored 6 of their 8 points in an 8-0 run, their longest at that point, to give Brazil a 48-46 halftime lead.

Brazil got to a quick start in the third quarter, taking a 55-48 lead thanks to their offense in the paint and kept the lead until baskets by Scola and Delfino left it tied at 66.

In the final quarter Leandro Barbosa came in hot with two straight three pointers, but an unlikely figure came back to tie it as Hernan Jasen responded to tie it at 72. The rest of the game was close where both teams didn’t want to give anything. Argentina was led by Luis Scola, who scored 6 points in a row and after a desperation three by Marcelo Huertas with 1.9 seconds (91-89), he sealed the game with two free throws with 1.2 seconds.

Scola finished with 37 points, 22 of them in the second half while Carlos Delfino had 20 and Hernan Jasen 15.

Brazil had Marcelo Huertas with 32 points, Leandrinho Barbosa with 20 and Tiago Splitter along with Marcelinho Machado 10 each. 

Earlier, Linas Kleiza scored 13 of his game-high 30 points in the fourth quarter as Lithuania held off a late China rally for a 78-67 win and booked their place in the Quarter-Finals of the 2010 FIBA World Championship.

Lithuania led 64-51 to start the fourth quarter but Yi Jianlian, Liu Wei and Wang Zhizhi accounted for all the points in an 11-3 spurt that saw China get within 67-62 with five minutes remaining.

However, Kleiza made sure they did not get any closer by hitting timely buckets down the stretch.

Last 16 results

Serbia 73 Croatia 72, Spain 80 Greece 72, Slovania 87 Australia 58, Turkey 95 France 77, USA 121 Angola 66, Russia 78 New Zealand 56, Lithuania 78 China 67, Argentina 93 Brazil 89.

Quarter finals

September 8: Serbia v Spain, Turkey v Slovania; September 9: USA v Russia, Lithuania v Argentina; September 10: Semi-finals.


Additional reporting by Eric Odanga


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