Argentina Defeats New Zealand
SAITAMA, Japan, August 26 (Ticker) -- Manu Ginobili scored 28 points and San Antonio Spurs teammate Fabricio Oberto added 23 and 10 rebounds as Argentina recorded a 79-62 victory over New Zealand in the round of 16 at the World Championship.
Argentina struggled from long range, missing its first 17 attempts before Ginobili ended the drought in the fourth quarter to help put the game out of reach.
Oberto led a dominant effort on the boards for the Argentines (6-0), who pulled down 17 of their 46 rebounds on the offensive glass. New Zealand only had 31 rebounds in the contest.
"We have to give credit to New Zealand because they forced us to take shots from the outside," said Argentina coach Sergio Hernandez, whose team will face either Turkey or Slovenia on Tuesday. "But I don't believe in the idea of having a bad day."
New Zealand (2-4) sliced its deficit to 39-33 with 8:15 to go in the third period on a layup by Paul Henare. But Argentina answered with a 12-2 run to break open the game.
Oberto drained a short jumper and Henare was hit with an unsportsmanlike foul against Ginobili, who made both free throws.
"It was a very physical game," Hernandez said. "I think the referees decided to let the players play, there was a lot of contact."
Argentina's Luis Scola fell hard to the court in the first half and did not get up immediately, prompting New Zealand's Mark Dickel to rush to his aid and call for the Argentina trainers.
Scola eventually came to his knees with his hands at his mouth and walked to the bench holding a front tooth. The power forward finished with 10 points and eight rebounds for Argentina, which shot 44 percent (28-of-63) and committed 17 turnovers.
"Now we have to prepare for our next game," Hernandez said. "Slovenia has a lot of natural talent, while Turkey are more aggressive and show more character. The one we face will be a worthy opponent in the quarterfinal stage."
Dickel scored 14 points to lead New Zealand, which shot 39 percent (24-of-61) and committed 19 turnovers.