FIBA Americas Rumors
Luis Scola, like just about every 35-year-old who’s played in more Olympics and World Championships and FIBA Americas than he’d probably care to remember, knows all the tricks of the trade. He’s sneaky and rough and he’s been around long enough to know what he can get away with then, as he pointed out after the game. “When you play in a lot of these tournaments you kind of take a little bit of advantage. You know what’s going to happen, you know how the refs are going to call, you know the other team. Like for me, I was playing against NBA guys and that was a good thing for me because I’m used to it. For those guys, they are playing Argentina, Brazil, Spain and they’re playing different basketball. So it takes a little time, it takes a couple games and I’ve played a couple of those.”
Luis Scola had 35 points and 13 rebounds, and Argentina beat Canada 94-87 on Tuesday in the men’s Olympic qualifying tournament. Scola, a 35-year-old NBA veteran who just signed with Toronto, was 13 for 26 from the field. Nicolas Laprovittola scored 20 points, and Andres Nocioni finished with 15. Argentina improved to 2-0 in Group B. Venezuela (1-0) is second, followed by Puerto Rico (0-1), Canada (0-1) and Cuba (0-1).
One Trail Blazer has already punched his ticket to the 2016 Olympics as Al-Farouq Aminu helped Nigeria qualify for next year’s games in Brazil by winning AfroBasket in Tunisia on Sunday. This week Blazers coaches Jay Triano and David Vanterpool will try earn a spot in the Olympics starting Tuesday when they lead Canada into the FIBA Americas Championship in Mexico City. The Canadian roster features nine NBA players, including former No. 1 overall picks from Minnesota, Andrew Wiggins and Anthony Bennett, as well as Toronto’s Cory Joseph, Boston’s Kelly Olynyk, Philadelphia’s Nik Stauskas and the Lakers’ Robert Sacre.
They aren’t quite the Ugly Americans, the bullies of basketball who have always stood head and shoulders above the rest of the world talent-wise, but they are the favourites, perhaps the heavy favourites, heading into the FIBA Americas Olympic qualifying tournament. And they seem to be enjoying the switch from being perennial hunters to the hunted. “I believe we have a little bit of a target on our backs,” head coach Jay Triano told a couple of media outlets after Canada’s first practice here on Saturday.”
Doug Smith: Little surprise as Canada releases Olivier Hanlan; heads to FIBA Americas with 12-man roster of Joseph, Stauskas, Wiggins, Olynyk, Bennett, Scrubb, Heslip, Ejim, Powell, Doornekamp, Nicholson, Sacre. First game in Mexico vs. Argentina Tuesday