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Basketball - 29. May 2008.

ARG/BRA – Brazil win `El Clasico’ in South American Championship

GUAYAQUIL (FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament for Women) – Defending champions Brazil edged Argentina in Ecuador on Monday in a battle of unbeatens at the South American Championship for Women.

In a game between two sides that will take part in the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament in June in Madrid, Argentina had a bright start and led 28-19 by the end of the first quarter but the Brazilians tightened up on defense and fought back to hold a 45-38 advantage at half-time.

They pressed home the advantage in the third quarter before holding on for the win.

Chuca, the veteran wing of Brazil, had 21 points while Ega scored 12 and pulled down nine rebounds.

Brazil are not at full strength with their leading players in action in the WNBA.

Argentina are also still missing important members of the team like star center Gisela Vega.

“We have not been very good at the start of the three games that we have played,” Chuca said.

“Today, we began without our full concentration and they won the first quarter 28-19.

“We finally started playing in the second quarter and led 45-38 at half-time.”

Nevertheless, while Brazil struggled to find any rhythm on offense, they have three wins in as many games and are headed for another championship game.

“We have to remain focused and correct the details in order to win the title,” Chuca added.

Carolina Sanchez had 17 points to pace the Argentinians while Brazil limited Eduardo Pinto’s rising star Sthefany Thomas to just four.

In the early game on Monday, Chile beat Colombia 77-56.


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