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Gonzalez, Argentina blast Venezuela

Aug 28, 2007 - 12:57 AM LAS VEGAS (Ticker) -- Roman Gonzalez scored 21 points as Argentina easily posted a 98-63 victory over Venezuela in a FIBA Americas Championship second-round game at the Thomas & Mack Center on Monday night.

Carlos Delfino added 19 points and 11 rebounds for defending Olympic champion Argentina, which looked much better on the first day of the second round. It struggled to a 109-92 overtime victory over Panama late Sunday night.

Playing about 16 hours after its final preliminary-round contest, Argentina (4-0) raced to a 13-point lead after one quarter and a 51-34 halftime advantage. It went on to lead by as many as 35 points in the fourth quarter.

"We didn't have any real time to prepare," Argentina coach Sergio Hernandez said. "The important thing is that we had 12 players that were ready to play. Ten players played 12 minutes or more today and contributed. I'm very pleased with that."

Paolo Quinteros scored 12 points, Luis Scola added 10 and Pablo Prigioni dished out eight assists for Argentina.

"Pablo is an excellent point guard - an unbelievable player," Scola said. "He controls the game at such a high level. I have never played with somebody like him. He makes everybody play better. He is a very important piece of our puzzle."

Carlos Cedeno scored 15 points for Venezuela, which shot 35 percent (23-of-65) from the field.

Hector Romero, who entered the contest averaging 21.0 points in the preliminary round, was held to just six points.

"Today we started well," Scola said. "We could rotate a little bit more. It was very important to contain Romero. Fortunately, we did with a pretty good collective team defense. We got up by 18 in the first quarter, and they did come back, but by then we were composed and relaxed. We didn't want to let happen what happened against Panama."

"They are tough," Venezuela guard Greivis Vasquez said. "Their chemistry is amazing. They pass the ball very well. It was a tough situation recovering from an emotional victory (over the Virgin Islands on Sunday). I have no excuse today. We have three more games to see what happens."

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