FIBA Americas Qualifier: Day 6

By Alfredo R. Berrios

SAN JUAN -- Argentina's Luis Scola knows that the Houston Rockets will go through a transitional phase this upcoming season. Still, the 6-9 forward expects the team to have a good year.

"The team is going to face a transition," Scola said. "We'll see how the team reacts with the changes. We might have to play a bit differently than we did last season. We'll have to adapt to the system."

Scola, who is playing for Argentina's national team in the FIBA Americas Championship, does not expect anything special with the absence of injured Chinese center Yao Ming.

"I'm not expecting anything special. The truth is I'm not sure what kind of team we're going to have. I'm still trying to see what moves can be made or not," said Scola at a light team practice on Monday. Most teams had the day off in anticipation of the quarterfinals, which begin on Tuesday.

The Rockets have acquired the rights to Australian David Andersen. The 6-11 Andersen played for Regal FC Barcelona during the 2008-09 season, averaging 11.1 points and 4.1 rebounds.

Among other potential big man candidates is Puerto Rican national team member Peter John Ramos, who also played with the Washington Wizards (2004-05). Most recently, Ramos caught the eye of the Houston Rockets.

"I'm going to do whatever I have to do. I will keep working the way I have been doing until now," said Scola, who does not know when he'll be reporting to the Rockets' training camp.

Argentina (2-2) secured the second spot of Group B, followed by Dominican Republic (2-2) and Panama (1-3). Brazil (4-0) was first. In its first match of the quarterfinals, Scola and his teammates face Canada (2-2), which finished third in Group A.

Luis Scola was the top scorer in the first round with 94 points (23.5 per game).
Dominican Francisco Garcia (82 points, 20.5 per game), Panama's Danilo Pinnock (79, 19.8), Brazil's Leandro Barbosa (74, 18.5) and Puerto Rico's Carlos Arroyo (73, 18.5) rounded out the top five scorers.

Esteban Batista has grabbed a tournament-high 51 rebounds, while Argentina's Pablo Prignoni has dished out a tourney-best 27 assists..

Batista also had a double-double in three of the four games, leading 16 players who also had a double-double in the first round.

Toronto Raptors vice president/assistant general manager Maurizio Gherardini is in Puerto Rico as a special assistant to the Canadian team, which advanced Sunday to the second round.
During an interview with international TV, Gherardini said that he's not "scouting" players. He added that he's at the tournament only as an assistant with his native country's team.

Uruguay and Dominican Republic will kick off the second round of the FIBA Americas Championship action Tuesday. The second game features Argentina against Canada while the top group leaders with play at 6:30 and 9:30 p.m. ET, respectively.