Canada, USA sweep; Argentina bounces back, D.R. notches first win
YUCATAN (Mexico) – The final day of the 2023 FIBA Americas Championship group stage featured wins from still-unbeaten Team USA and Canada, an impressive bounce back performance from Argentina and the Dominican Republic's first victory of the tournament.
USA and Canada finished atop Group's A and B, respectively, while Argentina and Brazil took second place in their zones with 2-1 records.
Uruguay and Mexico remain the only teams without wins.
Here's a look at how the games unfolded:
Canada completed their sweep of Group B play after getting past Brazil, 74-56, during the first game of Wednesday's action at Poliforum Zamna.
Chris Cheng's squad led throughout most of the game but had to overcome some bumps on the road early in the fourth quarter, as Brazil started the period on an 11-2 run to cut the deficit to 4 points.
However, reserve guard Elijah Patterson saved the day by scoring 9 straight points to extend the lead back to double digits – all but securing the victory for the North Americans.
Big man Paul Osaruyi once again led the team with 21 points and 11 rebounds for Canada, while Patrick Anamali and Patterson added 15 apiece.
Kamai Samuels had a cold shooting night (2/11 from the field) but dished out 10 assists.
The Brazilian offense was held to 27.8 percent from the field and this time their supremacy on the boards didn’t translate to enough second-chance points (just 6) or points in the paint (30).
Forward Patrick Perna had a team-high 18 points and Pedro Fernandes added 14 but both combined for just 11/31 from the field.
Dominican Republic executed better in the clutch to defeat Uruguay, 77-76, and earn their first victory of the tournament in Group B.
The Caribbean nation found itself down 75-69 with 2:23 to go in the fourth quarter before mounting a furious comeback that was completed by an Eugri Germán floater and a free throw by Lucas Morillo in the final minute of the game.
Uruguay had a chance to tie in the last possession, but Valentín Curbelo split a pair of free throws and denied his country the chance to escape out of last place.
Uruguay led by a triple at halftime in this very close affair behind another great effort from Joaquín Taboada.
The 16-year-old small forward scored 15 of his team-high 21 points in the first half.
Forward Emiliano Espinosa added 16 points off the bench on 4/6 from beyond the arc in what was an impressive offensive performance from Uruguay (49.1 percent from the field).
However, the Dominicans grabbed 20 offensive rebounds and generated 25 points out of Uruguay's 27 turnovers to even the scales.
Morillo was instrumental, dropping 28 points (10/22 from the field) and 14 rebounds in the winning effort. Germán had 13 while Robinson Polanco chipped in 10 off the bench.
Argentina bounced back wonderfully from their 61-point drubbing the night before, defeating Puerto Rico, 68-58, to finish in second place of Group A.
The South Americans seemed to take control of the game early in the third quarter before the boricuas roared back to take the lead at the end of the period.
Juan Fernandez's guys then found their composure and started to get away. A three-pointer from Martín Torriani with 1:01 left in regulation basically put it away after Puerto Rico had managed to get within a bucket.
Argentina's frontcourt led the way once again. Ohio-born forward Tyler Kropp had a 12-point, 14-rebound double-double with 3 blocks, while center Iván Pratto added 14 points and 9 boards.
Meanwhile, Torriani (9 points) and Matías Dominé (10) added a pair of three-pointers each to provide just enough spacing for an interior attack that won the paint battle 40-14.
Argentina once again suffered from an elevated number of turnovers (24) but still managed to shoot a respectable 41 percent from the field while holding Puerto Rico to 25.9 percent.
Eddin Santiago's team had 15 points from Felipe Quiñones and 11 from Richard Rosa, but their offense only mustered 12 points in the final period.
Puerto Rico finished in third place in Group A with a 1-2 record and will now face Brazil in the quarterfinals, while Argentina will go against the Dominican Republic.
Team USA put on another stunning performance Wednesday, defeating Mexico 122-53 in the last game of the group the stage.
The Americans swept Group A with a +165 point differential thanks to another resounding showing by their offense, which shot 60.2 percent from the field and had 24 assists on 50 made baskets.
Guard Anicet Dybantsa Jr., who led the way with 23 points, 5 rebounds and 6 assists, was one of six different player scoring in double digits.
Cameron Boozer had a 17-point, 10-rebound double-double, Darryn Peterson, Tyran Stokes and Koa Peat added 14 apiece, and Jalen Montonati contributed 11 off the bench.
Sharman White's squad dominated everywhere, holding a 52-6 edge in fast break points and generating 52 points out of Mexico's 39 turnovers.
The host nation, still winless, got 23 points on 8/19 from the field from power forward Karim López but otherwise couldn’t match their opponent's firepower.
USA will now face Uruguay in the quarterfinals on Friday, while Mexico will match up against Canada.