The stage is set. Argentina will face host nation Venezuela in the South American Basketball Championships after both teams cleared their semifinal match-ups. Argentina managed to hold down Uruguay in their 79-68 victory. Venezuela used a second-half rally to edge out Brazil 66-65. Both Argentina and Venezuela are undefeated in this competition and the rematch of their 2012 finals showdown should be an exciting encounter to watch.
Venezuela vs. Brazil, 66-65
Venezuela climbed out of a 10-point hole in the third period to steal away the win from Brazil’s grasp in the end. The host team were in control for most of the first half of the game and even entered the break with a two-point advantage, 28-26. Brazil surged in the third and amassed a 10-point lead. Venezuela battled tooth and nail, managing to cut the lead in half as they entered the final period. In the final frame, Venezuela’s defense shined through as the pulled off the win with a one-point margin, 66-65.
Heissler Guillent was Venezuela’s top performer with 15 points, four rebounds and four assists. Windi Graterol added 10 points of his own.
Brazil’s Raul Neto managed to end the night with 15 points, while Jefferson Andrade and Cristiano Felicio added 12 points each.
Argentina vs. Uruguay, 79-68
Argentina came to play. They blasted off in the first quarter with 31 points compared to Uruguay’s 20. Both teams simmered down in the second frame and the lead was cut to single digits, 42-33. A fresh start after the break saw the Argentinian squad come out guns blazing once again and this time Uruguay had to play catch up with less and less time on the clock. Despite their best efforts in the fourth, Uruguay was unable to challenge Argentina’s lead.
Nicolas Laprovittola led Argentina with 15 points and six assists. Marcos Mata and Matias Bortolin each added 14 points. Marcos Delia contributed 12 points and six rebounds.
Mauricio Aguiar had a tremendous outing for Uruguay with a game-high 21 points. Unfortunately, Bruno Fitipaldo was his only significant support with 16 points.