Puerto Rico vs. Argentina Live StreamingPowerhouse South American teams battle on opening day of the 2014 FIBA World Cup in Spain as Puerto Rico meets heated rivals Argentina in Group B action of the basketball world championships. Along with Croatia, which recently got their first win over the Philippines on day one; and Greece, Puerto Rico and Argentina are pegged as the teams to advance and even top the group.
Argentina, ranked 3rd in the FIBA world rankings is the favourite over the Puerto Ricans, ranked 17th in the world. However, Puerto Rico has been playing better of late while it appears the Argentines, now without veterans Manu Giniboli and Carlos Delfino in their roster, are starting to struggle both in the continental and world stages.
At the recent 2013 FIBA Americas Championships, Puerto Rico got the silver after losing to Mexico in a close contest. Argentina meanwhile settled for the bronze medal in the continental championship.
Puerto Rico has struggled in the world stage the past two editions though getting the boot in the preliminary rounds both in Japan 2006 and Turkey 2010. Argentina was the 5th placer in Turkey but that was still with their key stars in Ginobili and Delfino both of whom are considered the veteran leaders for the Argentine squad.
Puerto Rico also leads Argentina in the last five official FIBA meetings:
Last 5 Meetings – Argentina vs. Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico def. Argentina, 94-80 (Sept. 5, 2013) Puerto Rico def. Argentina, 89-81 (Aug. 26, 2013) Argentina def. Puerto Rico, 81-79 (Sept. 10, 2011) Argentina def. Puerto Rico, 81-74 (Sept. 2, 2011) Puerto Rico def. Argentina, 85-80 (Sept. 5, 2009)
Key players for Puerto Rico are their speedy and streak-shooting guards in Jose Juan Barea (13.6 points and 4.5 assists per game in international play) and Carlos Arroyo (13.7 PPG and 4.6 APG). Another player to watch for is Puerto Rico’s energy guy in Renaldo Balkman, who led the team in scoring (18.7 points) and rebounding (8.7 rebounds) in at the 2013 FIBA Americas.
Meanwhile Argentina will look to old but reliable big man Luis Scola (18.1 PPG and 5.9 RPG) and Facundo Campazzo (11.2 PPG and 4.5 APG) while also getting leadership and steady contributions from veterans Pablo Prigioni and Andres Nocioni.