Ningbo, China, Aug 27 : Argentina men's basketball team defeated Russia 85-64 in the pre-World Cup exhibition here on Monday in Ningbo Olympic center.
Real Madrid's forward Gabriel Deck led the game with 17 points for Argentina and his club teammate Nicolas Laprovittola had 16. 39-year-old veteran Luis Scola finished with 13 points and two assists.
"We are in the safe and sound after the tough game. It is too hard before the (official)game to know exactly what my rivals had done. I think we played basketball we can do," said Argentine coach Sergio Hernandez.
Facun Campazzo and Luca Vildoza's 3-pointers helped Argentina score a 6-0 run at the beginning of the game. Russia team responded a 7-2 scoring run but its rival ended the first quarter 18-8 in front.
Deck contributed six points consecutively, helping the title contender Argentina enlarged its advantages to 13 points with 7:00 left before the half time mark. Then Laprovittola took over the game, the point guard pocketed eight points, maintaining an 11-point advantage before the half break.
The 2004 Olympic gold medal owner and the European powerhouse all sent their bench players in the third quarter. Andrey Zubkov trimmed Russia's deficit to nine points with 3:06 left before the end of the third period. Argentina brought Deck back on the court and his three-pointer kept its advantage in two digits after three quarters.
Argentina's all-court press tactic made effects in the final period, seeing Nicolas Brussino enlarge the FIBA World Cup title favourite's advantages to 16 points with six minutes remaining on the clock. Russia tried to keep chasing by three-pointers, but its 20% three-point shots accuracy couldn't help the European side narrow the gap in the scoreline. At last, Argentina locked the victory as 85-64.
"This is a great lesson for us, "said Russian head coach Sergey Bazarevich. Both teams will set its second clash recently on Sept. 4 in the upcoming World Cup group match in Wuhan, China.
Campazzo of Argentina suffered an injury in his right ankle during the game, but Hernandez told Xinhua that it may not be a big problem. If the situation was not very good, Campazzo will not take part in Tuesday's warm up when it facing Spain. (XINHUA)