Trailing by eight with 2:41 remaining in the fourth quarter, Argentina’s men’s basketball team appeared poised to taste defeat against bitter rival Brazil at the Carioca Arena.
But thanks to the work of point guard Facundo Campazzo, who scored seven of Argentina’s final ten points and assisted on the other three, they closed regulation on a 10-2 run to force overtime. Thanks to Campazzo Argentina would erase a six-point deficit in the first overtime, opening the door for the visitors to grab the win in the second extra session. A Manu Ginobili rebound of a missed free throw led to the two foul shots that would seal the 111-107 double overtime victory for Argentina, which is now guaranteed a spot in the quarterfinals.
Campazzo was outstanding at the point for Argentina, scoring 33 points and dishing out 11 assists to supplement a 37-point effort from Andres Nocioni. And with Ginobili struggling, scoring 13 points but doing so on 4-for-14 shooting, Argentina needed every one of those points from Campazzo and Nocioni. Luis Scola scored 14 points and grabbed ten rebounds before fouling out, and former George Washington forward Patricio Garino adding ten points for Argentina, which is now atop Group B on seven points.
Nene led Brazil with 24 points to go along with 11 rebounds, and his defending of Ginobili on multiple pick and roll switches resulted in the San Antonio Spurs guard forcing challenged shots in multiple instances. Nene was one of six Brazilians to score in double figures, with Alex Garcia scoring 14 points and Leandro Barbosa (11 points) getting hot in the second extra session to nearly force a third overtime.
Currently fourth on five points, with fifth-place Spain (four points) having a game in hand, the hosts have some work to do in their final game against Nigeria to make sure that they get out of group play.