Thursday, September 8, 2011
J.J. Barea has P.R. closing in on Olympics
By Jeff Caplan
Dallas Mavericks guard J.J. Barea had 14 points and seven assists in an impressive, 79-62, win Wednesday night over the Dominican Republic in the Olympic qualifier for the Americas in Argentina.
Puerto Rico (5-1), which had already advanced to Saturday's semifinal, has its hands full tonight against Brazil, which gave host Argentina, featuring Manu Ginobili, Luis Scola and Carlos Delfino, its first loss of the tournament Wednesday night.
Tonight's game starts at 6:30 CT.
Argentina, Puerto Rico, Brazil and the Dominican Republic are all in Saturday’s semifinals.
The two finalists qualify for the London Olympics. The United States has already qualified for the games after winning the world championship last year.
Barea, a free agent who has said he could play in Spain if the NBA lockout drags on, is averaging 11.3 points, 4.7 assists and fewer than two turnovers a game.
Meanwhile over at the European Championship in Lithuania, Dirk Nowitzki's bid to qualify Germany for a 2012 Olympic berth is in jeopardy. The Germans are 0-3 in the second round and sit sixth out of six countries in Group E. They face Turkey (1-2) on Friday, a game that tips at 10 a.m. CT.