Mexico Edges Argentina 76-70 To Advance To 2013 FIBA Americas Finals

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Mexico booked the first ticket to the finals of the 2013 FIBA Americas Championship after scoring a remarkable win over defending champions Argentina in the semifinals on Tuesday night in Caracas, Venezuela.

Mexico leaned on a strong start and kept their composure down the stretch to escape with a hard-earned 76-70 over Argentina, earning a spot in the finals – a scenario that was not expected by analysts heading into the tournament.

The Mexicans played like a well-oiled machine in the first period that ended with them on top 20-14, but Argentina bounced back big time in the second period to take a 37-33 lead at the half.

The Argentines controlled the pace of the game in the third period and kept the Mexican at bay, taking a 58-53 lead heading into the final ten minutes of the match.

The defending champions were still ahead 62-55 with almost seven minutes left in the game, but Mexican unleashed a decisive run, outscoring Argentina, 21-8, in the final seven minutes of the match en route to the win.

Gustavo Ayon was an unstoppable force on Tuesday night as he dominated with 24 points and 12 rebounds to go along with three assists in two steals, while Lorenzo Mata and Hector Hernandez added nine points apiece with the latter grabbing ten rebounds.

Mexico won the rebounding battle, 38-27, while also dominating inside the paint with 40 points in the paint compared to 28 of Argentina, which also allowed the Mexicans to tally 13 second-chance points.

Luis Scola led Argentina with 18 points and eight rebounds to go with five assists, while Facundo Campazzo and Selem Safar added 14 and 11 points, respectively.

Click here to view the complete box score of the Mexico – Argentina match from FIBA Live Stats.

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