The Argentine men’s basketball team reached the quarterfinals of the competition at the Tokyo Olympic Games this morning, clearly defeating their local counterpart from Japan, 97-77, in a match corresponding to the last date of zone C in the qualifying stage.
In this way, the Albiceleste team, led by Bahia DT Sergio Hernández, obtained the passport as one of the best third parties (the other was Germany) and will be measured in the next instance against Australia or France, as determined by the draw that will be it will take place hours later, when the Slovenia-Spain match ends.
The partials of the extensive Argentine success at the Saitama Super Arena were the following: Argentina 26-16, 46-38, 65-53 and 97-77
Captain Luis Scola, the national team’s top scorer, was once again the main attacking reference of the Albiceleste team, with a balance of 23 points (4-13 in doubles, 5-8 in triples), 10 rebounds, a he recovered and a block in the 26 minutes that he remained on the court.
While the Cordovan point guard Facundo Campazzo (Denver Nuggets, NBA) rounded off another more than acceptable production, with a roster of 17 units (0-2 in doubles, 5-9 in triples, 2-3 in free), 11 assists and 7 rebounds in 25m., according to the official website of the tournament.
The Buenos Aires intern Marcos Delía, meanwhile, assumed an unexpected leading role during much of the first period and ended with a convincing balance of 14 goals (6-9 in doubles, 2-2 in free), 7 rebounds, a steal and a top in 23m.
The Argentine triumph, beyond some ups and downs exhibited during certain passages of the match, was never compromised.
Because the Japanese cast, led by Argentine coach Julio Lamas (former coach of the Albiceleste team in London 2012), showed to be a light team, with a less physical build than their opponent and with a tandem of figures such as Rui Hachimura (Washington Wizards ) –Yuta Watanabe (Toronto Raptors), which only worked, occasionally.
Even so, Argentina exhibited errors that were repeated from previous meetings with Slovenia (100-118) and Spain (71-81).
The team abused the incidence of the outside shot (14-36 in triples) and did not have fluidity in the circulation. In addition, he preferred not to load the game with penetrations towards the adversary basket, beyond the fact that the licenses granted by Japan allowed him to get excited about obtaining greater returns in those eventual ‘one against one’.
However, the Albiceleste team was also permeable in defense (with the exception of the first quarter) and allowed an Asian team to ‘run the court’ that had Yudai Baba (18 goals, 7 rebounds and 3 assists) as their main weapon.
Even limited forward Hachimura (1-7 in shots from the court in the first 20 minutes), the Japanese team was just 8 down on the board (38-46).
Just started the second period, the local team discounted the difference and was four (42-46). That score was sufficient alarm for Argentina to adjust small things, with the sacrifice of Gabriel Deck (16 points, 12 in the second half) plus conversions from Campazzo and Scola, to escape again.
And in the last chapter, the team of DT Hernández took advantage of the fatigue of a rival who quickly threw in the towel to widen the difference.
Mar del Plata forward Patricio Garino (Zalgiris Kaunas, Lithuania) was preserved in the game due to a discomfort in the hamstring in his right leg.
(77) Japón: Makoto Hiejima 13, Yudai Baba 18, Rui Hachimura 13, Yuta Watanabe 17, Daiki Tanaka 10 (FI) Yuki Togashi 3, Avi Schafer 0, Kosuke Kanamaru 0, Tenketsu Harimoto 3. DT: Julio Lamas
(97) Argentina: Facundo Campazzo 17, Nicolás Laprovíttola 4, Nicolás Brussino 8, Luis Scola 23, Marcos Delía 14 (FI) Luca Vildoza 7, Gabriel Deck 16, Leandro Bolmaro 4, Juan Pablo Vaulet 4, Tayavek Gallizzi 0. DT: Sergio Hernandez.
Progression: Argentina 26-16, 46-38, 65-63 and 97-77
Referees: Vázquez (Puerto Rico) -Weiland (Canada) -Kozlovskis (Latvia)
Stadium: Super Arena (Saitama)
Australia is coming
Slovenia beat Spain 95-87 today, won Group C and qualified for the basketball quarterfinals at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
The subsequent draw determined that Argentina -which was part of the same group- will play against Australia for the quarterfinals, a key that in the semifinal will have the winner of Spain-United States.
At the close of the group stage, Slovenia clearly beat Spain (95-87) and proved to be a team that depends not only on Luja Doncic, who scored 12 goals but was neutralized by the Spanish for most of the game.
Vlatko Cancar, with many of his final 22 points in the first half, endured his team, and also Jaka Blazic and Klemen Prepelic collaborated for the good victory of the Slovenian team.
Spain came to dominate by 12 points in the third quarter, but Slovenia secured the comeback and won clearly. Now Germany awaits him in the next round.
The Slovenians won the group in which Argentina participated, which earlier beat Japan 97-77 to qualify for the quarterfinals, where they will now face Australia.
The quarterfinal crosses will be: Argentina-Australia; France Italy; Slovenia-Germany and the United States-Spain.