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Uruguay vs Puerto Rico
Esteban BATISTA (Uruguay). Fourth day of the 2007 FIBA Americas Championship, Las Vegas, USA. 25 August 2007.
25/08/2007Uruguay 82 vs. Puerto Rico 79

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LAS VEGAS (2007 FIBA Americas Championship) - Esteban Batista's 34 points and 15 rebounds led Uruguay past Puerto Rico 82-79 on Saturday night at Thomas & Mack Center.

Uruguay improved to 2-1 in tournament play while Puerto Rico's record dropped to a disappointing 1-3.

Puerto Rico, which led by as many as 19 points earlier in the contest, held a 61-53 advantage heading to the fourth quarter.

With eight turnovers in the final stanza and 28 for the game, however, Puerto Rico's sloppy play would be their downfall.

With the lead now gone and his team trailing by three, Jose Barea stepped to the line to shoot two for Puerto Rico with 2.4 seconds remaining.

After coming up short on the first free throw, Barea missed the second on purpose by firing it off the front of the rim.

Angel Reyes corralled the rebound for Puerto Rico and retreated feverishly to the three-point arc.

Reyes turned and fired what would have been the game-tying three-pointer, but his shot was no good and Uruguay escaped with the win.

Barea, who returned tonight from a two-game suspension, led Puerto Rico with 18 points.

Tim Kuck
USA Basketball