Neto top scores as Brazil seal quarter-final
By Tim Hanlon
BARCELONA, Sept 8 (Reuters) - Raulzinho Neto had a game-high 21 points as Brazil avenged their defeat four years ago by Argentina and progressed to the quarter-finals of the basketball World Cup with an 85-65 victory on Sunday.
Argentina’s golden generation are coming to the end of the road and while they took the first quarter in Madrid, with a lead of eight points, it was downhill from there against Brazil who are fancied for a podium finish at the tournament in Spain.
Luis Scola led Argentina to victory over Brazil in the Last 16 of the 2010 World Championships in Turkey and they had come out on top the previous four times they met but with Brazil’s imposing frontcourt they were able to hurt the undersized Argentine squad.
“It was a very difficult game which we expected but it worked out well for us. We now have a lot of hope but also know there is a lot of work to do,” Neto told reporters after his starring role.
Pablo Prigioni notched up 18 points for Argentina who still had a 36-33 lead at the break but then Brazil improved their defensive intensity and a 15-3 run helped them take a 48-39 advantage.
Brazil stretched their lead with the first seven points of the fourth quarter and ran out comfortable winners in the end.
Argentina next face Serbia, who struggled in the group stages but against old rivals Greece they produced their best performance of the tournament after nailing nine-three pointers from 17 attempts.
Shooting guard Bogdan Bogdanovic enjoyed an effervescent afternoon with a game-high 21 points, as playmaker Milos Teodosic engineered a flowing effort in which center Miroslav Raduljica also thrived, racking up 16 points and six rebounds. Continued...