Three spots in the 2014 FIBA World Cup will be decided on Sunday in Caracas at the FIBA Americas tournament. On Saturday, Puerto Rico pushed ahead and Canada suffered a potentially costly defeat. Here are the Saturday results from Venezuela.
Mexico 100, Jamaica 89
Mexico is in a strong position to qualify for the World Cup after beating Jamaica to move to 4-2 in the group standings. Power forward Hector Hernandez led the way for Mexico with 25 points. Guard Orlando Mendez added 22 and seven assists. Jamaica was eliminated from contention with the loss.
Argentina 89, Uruguay 63
Uruguay stayed close in the first half, but the Argentines, led by Luis Scola's 17 points, blew URU away in the second half. Argentina sits in a three-way tie with Canada and Venezuela for the No. 4 spot, which earns a berth to the FIBA Americas semifinal and the 2014 World Cup. Uruguay has been eliminated from both.
Dominican Republic 81, Canada 74
In Saturday's biggest game, the Dominicans strengthened their bid for their first World Cup trip since 1978 with a win over Canada. New York-born James Feldeine, who plays professionally in Spain, led the D.R. with 20 points on 6-12 shooting. The Rockets' Francisco Garcia added 17. Canada's Andrew Nicholson of the Orlando Magic had a monster scoring game with 29, but Canada's defense was horrid, allowing the Dominicans to shoot 57 percent from the floor.
Puerto Rico 86, Venezuela 85 (OT)
What a wild game. Venezuela led by nine with three minutes to go, but J.J. Barea scored seven points in 37 seconds and Venezuela's offense tightened up to get the game into overtime. There, neither team led by more than three. Barea earned a huge steal with 11 seconds to go to clinch the game. Puerto Rico claimed a World Cup spot with the victory, and now Venezuela has a tough chore to get in.
Here's Sunday's schedule. The semifinalists will be decided in those four games, with those teams getting the World Cup bids.
Uruguay vs. Dominican Republic, 11:30 a.m. ET
The Dominicans clinch a World Cup berth with a win. A loss could still get them in depending on other results. But a win takes the mystery out of it. Uruguay has already been eliminated.
Canada vs. Argentina, 2 p.m. ET
This is the grand enchilada: Canada will make the World Cup with a victory due to a strong points margin. Argentina isn't totally assured a berth with a win; points margin could come into play if Venezuela trounces Jamaica.
Puerto Rico vs. Mexico, 5:30 p.m. ET
Puerto Rico's in already, but can clinch the No. 1 seed with a win. Mexico needs to win to capture its World Cup berth. A loss could send Mexico out of the tournament depending on results of Canada-Argentina and the margin in Venezuela-Jamaica.
Jamaica vs. Venezuela, 8 p.m. ET
Everything could come down to this, or this could totally not matter at all. If Venezuela loses, then Mexico, the Dominican Republic and the winner of Canada-Argentina are in no matter what. But if Mexico or the Dominicans lose, Venezuela can leap them into the top four with a blowout win over Jamaica. The same applies to Argentina, if it beats Canada. (Canada has a 41-point lead on Venezuela in points margin. Venezuela would need to win by 50 or so to beat them.) Jamaica's average margin is about -9 points per game.)
The semifinals are scheduled for Tuesday.