MANILA, Philippines – Argentina, a finalist in the last FIBA World Cup, will not be returning to the global hoops showdown for another crack at the crown.
The Argentinians failed to qualify for the World Cup for the first time since 1982 after ending the Americas Qualifiers with a heartbreaking 79-75 home loss to Dominican Republic on Monday, February 27.
Falling apart when it mattered most, Argentina squandered a 17-point lead in the second half as it narrowly missed a World Cup berth.
Argentina finished with the same 8-4 record as Venezuela in Group E but lost the tiebreaker due to an inferior points difference.
Facundo Campazzo sank a pair of free throws to give Argentina a 71-66 lead with under three minutes left before they crumbled the rest of the way as Dominican Republic closed it out with a win-clinching 13-4 blast.
Campazzo finished with 10 points, 5 assists, 4 rebounds, and 4 steals, while Gabriel Deck showed the way for Argentina with 27 points.
Jean Montero churned out 22 points and 3 steals to lead Dominican Republic, which will join Venezuela and Group E leader Canada in the World Cup.
It was a disappointing Americas Qualifiers exit for Argentina after it almost went all the way last World Cup before it fell to Spain in the finale in China four years ago.
Over in Group F, Team USA preserved its streak of World Cup appearances despite missing the services of NBA stars as it topped the group with a 9-3 card.
The Americans have reached every single World Cup since the tournament started in 1950.
Puerto Rico, Mexico, and Brazil also advanced from Group F. – Rappler.com
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