14 - 20
August 2023
7 Buddy Hield (BAH)
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OPTQ's: Five players who lit it up and three ballers who broke out in Argentina

LA BANDA (Argentina) – The FIBA Olympic Pre-Qualifying Tournament 2023 Argentina is in the books, and it featured stellar performances from some of the best players in the continent.

Here are the top five players who shone the brightest in Santiago del Estero and 3 others who posted breakout tournaments while wearing their national team jerseys. 

Five players who lit it up 

Eric Gordon - Bahamas

Tournament Statistics: 17.8 EFF; 20.3 PPG; 65.0 3PT% 

Gordon was the tournament's leading scorer (20.3 points per game) and the best player in the final against Argentina, where he scored 27 points to lead Bahamas to the title.

The 34-year-old shot 54.5 percent from the field and 13-20 (65 percent) on three-pointers and averaged 2.3 assists, 2.0 rebounds and 1.3 steals per night.

Facundo Campazzo - Argentina 

Tournament Statistics: 23.8 EFF; 16.3 PPG; 11.8 APG

Campazzo did everything he could to keep Argentina's Olympic dreams alive but in the end, they will short despite him averaging 16.3 points and 11.8 assists per game. 

The speedy point guard dropped a massive double-double in the final against Bahamas and was stellar all week, also averaging 4.0 steals and 3.5 rebounds per game.

Deandre Ayton - Bahamas

Tournament Statistics: 25.3 EFF; 15.5 PPG; 13.8 RPG

Despite quiet offensive performances over the weekend, Ayton led the tournament in efficiency (25.3) after averaging 15.5 points, 13.8 rebounds, 1.3 assists, and 1.3 steals.

The Phoenix Suns big man notched a 10-point, 21-rebound double-double in the final and his work on the defensive end was a big part of Bahamas' title run.

Gabriel Deck - Argentina 

Tournament Statistics: 14.3 EFF; 14.5 PPG; 52.6 FG% 

Deck barely made the roster after sustaining a knee injury in early May and looked rusty in the early going but finished strong with 24 points in the semifinals against Chile and 21 in the final against Bahamas.

The Real Madrid forward averaged 14.5 points, 3.3 rebounds and 1.8 assists with 52.6/58.3/91.7 shooting splits in just 22.5 minutes per game.

Buddy Hield - Bahamas

Tournament Statistics: 16.3 EFF; 19.8 PPG; 4.8 RPG 

Hield's scoring dropped with every game of the tournament, going from 25 against Cuba to 17 (Argentina), 15 (Uruguay in the semifinals) and 8 in the final.

He was never able to find his shooting stroke (29.3 percent on 10.2 attempts per game) but his presence caused terror among opposing defenses and the threat of his stroke opened things up for his teammates and allowed Bahamas to lead the tournament in scoring at 92.2 points per game.

The Indiana Pacers guard also chipped in 4.8 rebounds, 3.3 assists, and 2.3 steals per game and finished tied for 6th in efficiency (16.3). 

Three breakout ballers

Nicolás Carvacho - Chile

Tournament Statistics: 18.0 EFF; 18.5 PPG; 6.5 RPG

Carvacho was the No. 1 reason for Chile being the tournament's biggest surprise.

The 26-year-old center anchored his country's defense and was also Chile's top scorer, finishing with 18.5 points per game and 6.5 rebounds while shooting 62.7 percent from the field.

The former Colorado State big man, who recently signed with Poland's MKS Dabrowa Gornicza, formed a frisky interior duo with Felipe Haase to complement Chile's wide array of perimeter shooters. 

Travis Munnings - Bahamas

Tournament Statistics: 13.8 EFF; 11.5 PPG; 66.7 FG%

Munnings was the unsung hero of Bahamas' title run.

While Ayton, Gordon, and Hield drew most of the attention, the 28-year-old guard completed an excellent tournament as a jack-of-all-trades weapon for Chris Demarco.

Munnings averaged 11.5 points, 3.3 rebounds, 1.3 assists, and 1.3 steals while shooting 66.7 percent from the field and 57.1 percent from the three-point line.

He was also clutch in the final, finishing with 16 points and draining a pair of key three-pointers in the first half.

Sebastián Herrera - Chile 

Tournament Statistics: 13.0 EFF; 14.0 PPG; 37.9 3PT% 

Herrera was instrumental in Chile finishing 3-0 in group play and giving Argentina a run for their money in the semifinals.

Along with Ignacio Varela and Alejandro Vergara, his outside shooting proved to be a real threat that unlocked the paint for Carvacho and Haase.

The 25-year-old, currently playing in France, will be a huge part of the Chilean National Team going forward as they attempt to compete head-to-head with some of the more traditional regional powerhouses like Argentina, Brazil and Venezuela.