Friday, September 2, 2011
Updated: September 3, 1:32 PM ET
Manu Ginobili leads Argentina to victory
MAR DEL PLATA, Argentina -- Manu Ginobili of the San Antonio Spurs scored 23 points and Argentina remained unbeaten with an 81-74 victory over Puerto Rico on Friday night in the Olympic qualifying tournament for the Americas.
Luis Scola of the Houston Rockets added 16 points for Argentina (3-0).
"It's really great to play in this place with people that encourage you in this way," Ginobili said of Argentina's home-country advantage.
Carlos Arroyo, who played with the Boston Celtics, had 24 points for Puerto Rico (3-1).
"It's a little bit disappointing to lose, but we faced a team that plays with a lot of passion," Arroyo said.
In other games Friday, the Dominican Republic (3-1) beat Brazil (2-1) 79-74; Uruguay (1-2) defeated Panama (1-2) 77-61; and Canada (2-1) eliminated Cuba (0-3) with an 84-62 victory.
The top two teams in the 10-nation field receive berths in the London Olympics. The next three teams advance to a final Olympic qualifier.
The first round ends Saturday and the top four teams in each five-team group advance to the second round.
Al Horford of the Atlanta Hawks had 22 points, going 3-for-3 from 3-point range. The Dominican Republic, which is coached by Kentucky's John Calipari, bounced back from Thursday's 73-72 loss to Canada.
"Horford was inspired," Brazil coach Ruben Magnano said. "We couldn't get hold of the ball and get rebounds and we also made some pretty childish turnovers."
Jevohn Shepherd scored 13 points and Jermaine Anderson added 11 for Canada.
Cuba became the first team to be eliminated from the tournament.
"We are an amateur team with a lot of desire to learn because we are ambitious, " Cuba coach Ariel Amarillo said. "I go away less hurt because the players left nothing out there; they played like Cubans, with lots of heart and sacrifice."