Monday, August 27, 2007

2007 FIBA Americas – Tall Albiceleste Survive Panama Scare

Game 4 - Highlights

Not recognizing its' apparent underdog status, Panama almost looked poised to knock Argentina’s from completing its 4-0 perfection in the first stage. In a back-and-forth battle which needed overtime to decide it, Argentina ultimately retained its' unblemished record, tallying a 109-92 triumph.

Trailing by as many as 14 points early in the game, Panama fought back to take a 63-59 lead heading to the fourth quarter. When Jamar WARREN connected on a three-pointer with just over four minutes remaining to give Panama a 77-68 lead, it looked as if the biggest upset of the first round was about to occur.
Argentina, however, would not go away, storming back to tie it at 79 apiece with just under two minutes to play. Carlos DELFINO's steal and breakaway dunk then gave Argentina an 81-79 lead with 1:30 remaining. Back-and-forth it went as Jaime LLOREDA's lay-up just 15 seconds later tied it again.

Luis SCOLA made two free throws to give Argentina the lead again at 83-81, but those would be his final points of the evening. Gary FORBES drove the length of the floor and made a lay-up while also drawing contact from SCOLA, marking his fifth and final foul. FORBES made the free throw and gave Panama an 84-83 lead.

On Argentina's next possession, Paolo QUINTEROS missed a three-point try and when Pablo PRIGIONI was whistled for going over the back in his failed attempt to secure the offensive rebound, Joel MUNOZ would step to the line for Panama. MUNOZ hit one-of-two foul shots and Panama led 85-83.

Diego LO GRIPPO got free on the following trip down the floor, dunking home the tying basket with 25 seconds to play. Panama worked the shot clock down and missed a jumper from the top of the key near the end of regulation.
A half-court heave by Argentina at the buzzer was no good, and the game headed to overtime.
It was all Argentina in the extra session, as 17 points outscored Panama in just five-minute overtime. QUINTEROS would score seven points in the final session and was Argentina’s best performer with 22 points led Argentina.

With this final round from the first stage being completed, Argentina alongside Uruguay, Puerto Rico & Mexico will qualify for next stage from Group A. Meanwhile from Group B, as expected USA and Brazil qualified alongside Canada and Venezuela.

First up, Venezuela on the 27th August.

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