Brazil hands Argentina first loss

MAR DEL PLATA, Argentina -- Brazil handed Argentina its first loss of the Olympic basketball qualifying tournament for the Americas, beating the host team 73-71 on Wednesday behind 19 points from Rafael Hettsheimer.

In other second-round matches Wednesday, Puerto Rico defeated the Dominican Republic 79-62, Canada edged Uruguay 70-68 and Venezuela routed Panama 110-74.

Argentina, Puerto Rico, Brazil and the Dominican Republic had already advanced to 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.

The teams that finish third through fifth earn spots in another qualifying tournament just before the Olympics that will award the final berths.

"They played well," Argentina coach Julio Lamas said of Brazil. "They were fair winners. We are teams that know each other, and they guarded us very well."

Luis Scola of the Houston Rockets led Argentina (5-1) with 24 points and Manu Ginobili of the San Antonio Spurs had 14. Argentina won its first six games and was the last unbeaten team in the tournament before losing to Brazil (5-1).

Alex Galindo scored 16 points and Jose Juan Barea of the Dallas Mavericks added 14 for Puerto Rico (5-1). Al Horford of the Atlanta Hawks had 16 points for the Dominican Republic (4-2), which is being coached by Kentucky's John Calipari.

Jevohn Shepherd led Canada (2-4) with 19 points and Andrew Rautins, who played for the New York Knicks, had 15. Leandro Garcia Morales had 19 points for Uruguay (1-5).

Greivis Vasquez of the Memphis Grizzlies topped Venezuela (2-4) with 24 points in the win over Panama (0-6).

The last of the quarterfinal-round games are Thursday.