With the 2013 FIBA Americas Championships coming to a close on Wednesday, there was obviously a lot riding on Tuesday’s semi-final matchup between Argentina and Mexico, namely a spot in the championship game. In Olympic or World Cup competition, the edge would undoubtedly go to the Argentines, but that wasn’t the case in this tournament.
Argentina really didn’t send any of their big names or any NBA players to the tournament outside of the Indiana Pacers new addition, Luis Scola, who has undoubtedly led this team up to this point. In the semi-final matchup, they were no match for an inspired Mexican team being led by Gustavo Ayon.
Despite Scola’s best efforts, the Argentines fell to Mexico by a final score of 76-70. In 37 minutes of time on the floor, Scola put up 18 points, eight rebounds, five assists and two blocks, including 10 trips to the foul line. He shot just 4-11 from the floor, but part of that was him jacking up desperation three-point attempts at the end of the game and isn’t indicative of his overall effectiveness.
With the third-place game still awaiting Argentina on Wednesday, Scola has undoubtedly been one of the stars of the entire tournament. In nine games he has averaged 18.3 points, 6.7 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 0.9 blocks per game while shooting 46 percent from the floor and 51 percent on two-point attempts.
It’s not a secret at this point that Scola is going to be a weapon for the Pacers off of the bench in the upcoming season, but the FIBA Americas tournament has only solidified that point. Even with defenses focusing on him, he’s been able to submit an impressive offensive performance and show solid rebounding prowess in this tournament. Indiana was already going to compete in the Eastern Conference, but Scola could take them to another level.