MEXICO CITY (AP) — Heissler Guillent scored 15 points and Venezuela pulled off another upset, beating Argentina 71-67 on Saturday night to win the FIBA Americas championship for the first time.
Guillent scored 19 points in the semifinals against heavy favorite Canada on Friday night to give the Venezuelans their first Olympic berth since Barcelona in 1992. Argentina also qualified for Rio by making to the Finals
Also Saturday, Canada beat Mexico 84-83 in the third-place game.
John Cox added 12 points and Windi Graterol had 11 for Venezuela, the runner-up in the 1992 FIBA Americas championship with a generation that was known in their country as the “Portland heroes”.
Venezuela won the title despite the absence of their best player, Greivis Vazquez, a point-guard for the Milwaukee Bucks.
Andres Nocioni scored 21 points and Luis Scola added 14 for Argentina.
In the other game, Cory Joseph nailed a 20-foot jumper at the buzzer to give Canada a dramatic win over the host nation.
Joseph finished with 11 points.
Andrew Nicholson had 20 points and Andrew Wiggins 18 for the Canadian team that wasted a nine-point lead in the last 3:21 of the game and needed Joseph’s heroics to win it. Marco Ramos led Mexico with 19 points.
Both Canada and Mexico will have another chance to qualify for Rio 2016 in the world qualifier tournament set to be played next summer.