AUCKLAND (FIBA U19 World Championship) - Argentina have defeated Puerto Rico, 92-70, to claim 5th place at the FIBA U19 World Championship in Auckland, New Zealand.
After taking a 21-15 quarter time lead, Argentina pulled away in the second period, outscoring Puerto Rico 20-15 to lead by double figures at the long break, with forward Andres Landoni scoring 13 points for the half.
Puerto Rico’s efforts weren’t helped by shooting 0/7 from the perimeter, being out-rebounded 11-22, and handing out just 4 assists to Argentina’s 13 for the half.
The third quarter saw the Americas champions hold their 11-point advantage, before pulling away in the last quarter behind the shooting of Juan Fernandez and an effective transition game.
Argentina were led by Landoni (17 points), Fernandez (12 points, 8 rebounds, 7 assists), Mateo Gaynor (14 points) and Luciano Gonzalez (12). The South Americans finish the tournament with a 5-4 record.
Puerto Rico’s best were again Jio Fontan (19 points, 6 assists) and Mike Rosario (21 points), as their team finished the tournament in 6th place with 5 wins and 4 losses.
Juan Fernandez, Argentina captain :
On finishing fifth: “The best thing we could do after we lost to Greece was get the firth place and we got it. We go home kind of happy, because fifth place in the whole world is a good thing so we’re happy about it.”
On they’re vocal supporters: “They’re great, you know, they travel 13 hours on a plane just to come see us play, it’s bad we didn’t get to the final at least for them, but it’s good we got the fifth place.”
On playing at the world championships: “It was different, it was the first time in a world cup for everybody. We have got to take the experience, and the ones who are lucky enough to play again will know how it feels.”