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Canada hands Mexico its first loss at FIBA Americas tourney

Andrew Wiggins, Juan Toscano

Andrew Wiggins, Juan Toscano


MEXICO CITY (AP) — Andrew Wiggins scored 17 points and Canada handed Mexico its first loss in the FIBA Americas tournament with a convincing 94-73 victory Tuesday night, jumping into second place in the Olympic basketball qualifying event standings.

Andrew Nicholson came off the bench to add 15 points and Nik Stauskas added 12 points for the Canadian team that is getting closer to qualifying for its first Olympics since 2000.

Francisco Cruz scored 13 points for the Mexicans, who had their six-game winning streak snapped.

After Tuesday*s games, Argentina leads the tournament with 12 points, followed by Canada and Mexico with 11. The Dominican Republic, Venezuela and Puerto Rico have eight, while Uruguay and Panama each have seven.

The top two teams will get berths to Rio in 2016. The teams finishing from third to fifth will qualify for the 2016 FIBA Olympic qualifying tournament, set to be played July 4-10.

The final game of this round will be played on Wednesday and the semifinals on Friday.

Earlier, Andres Nocioni scored 25 points in 26 minutes, Facundo Campazzo added 18 and Argentina defeated the Dominican Republic 92-82 to remain the only undefeated team in the tournament.

Luis Scola had 17 points and 14 rebounds for the Argentinian team that is trying to finish as the best team in the second round to face the fourth-place team in the semifinals.

Argentina can achieve that goal with a win over Mexico on Wednesday.

“Mexico is a great team and they have a real shot to qualify for Rio, they are going to be a very tough opponent. There are no easy ones left,” Argentina coach Sergio Hernandez said. “We have only one way to play, we’re not going to speculate. We will try to defeat Mexico because they are next in our schedule.”

Edgar Sosa scored 24 points for the Dominican Republic, which still has a chance but needs to upset Canada.

In other games, Reque Newsome scored 20 points as Uruguay got a 77-75 win over Venezuela, for its first win in the second round of an Olympic qualifier since 1997.

Also on Tuesday, J.J. Barea scored 18 points to give Puerto Rico a 78-71 victory over Panama.