Heissler Guillent scored 15 points and Venezuela pulled off another upset, beating Argentina 71-67 on Saturday night to win the FIBA Americas championship for the first time. Guillent scored 19 points in the semifinals against heavy favorite Canada on Friday night to give the Venezuelans their first Olympic berth since Barcelona in 1992. Also Saturday, Canada beat Mexico 84-83 in the third-place game.
Luis Scola (Argentina), who led the tournament averaging 21.1 points, along with 10.1 rebounds per game (2nd best in the tournament), was named Most Valuable Player of the Championship, presented by Tissot. Scola headlined the All-Star Five which also consisted of Heissler Guillent (Venezuela), Andrew Wiggins (Canada), Andres Nocioni (Argentina) and Gustavo Ayon (Mexico).
Gregory Vargas made a free throw with 0.3 seconds left after being fouled on an offensive rebound and Venezuela stunned Canada 79-78 on Friday night to qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympics. Windi Graterol scored 20 points, and Heissler Guillent added 19 — eight in the final 4 minutes — in the semifinal game to help Venezuela qualify for the Olympics for the first time since Barcelona in 1992.
Canada’s basketball squad is filled with exciting, talented players like Andrew Wiggins, Cory Joseph, Kelly Olynyk, Nik Stauskas and Anthony Bennett. But as a young team, they have a tendency to play down to teams from time to time. On Friday night, it looked like they might be able to survive a sub-par effort against Venezuela as long as they could get one last stop at the end of regulation to force overtime. Then this happened: YAY WE’RE GOING TO OVERTIME … except they didn’t, because the referees called a foul on the scrum under the basket going after the missed shot.