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Final, 2009 FIBA Americas Championship Men, San Juan, Puerto Rico. 06 September 2009. Photo: José Jiménez/FIBA

SAN JUAN (FIBA Americas Championship) - Brazil will have to pass their toughest test at the FIBA Americas Championship on Sunday if they are to capture the gold medal.

Puerto Rico, who trailed 41-32 at half-time against Argentina in their Semi-Final on Saturday, battled back to win 85-80.

The Puerto Ricans 24 hours earlier had handed Brazil their only defeat in the competition, 86-82.

After being Canada 73-65 in their last four clash, leading scorer Leandro Barbosa (22 points) said: "Now we will rest and prepare for the deciding game against Puerto Rico, which will be a battle.

"They are playing at home, with the support of their fans and motivated by their two recent victories against Brazil and Argentina."

Brazil only led 28-27 against Canada at the break on Saturday but turned up the defensive pressure in the third quarter and outscored Leo Rautins' team 28-13 to take command.

Canada, who got 17 points from Joel Anthony in the game, battled back in the fourth quarter but came up short.

Brazil's Anderson Varejão had 16 and eight rebounds and he said: "We are in the final and we will fight for another title.

"The first half was very tight and we couldn't create the tempo we wanted. From the third quarter, we turned up the defense and the team has improved offensively. We opened a good lead and managed the finish.

"Against Puerto Rico, we need to have a strong defense ..."

Canada were full of confidence after their win over the Dominican Republic on Friday to claim the fourth and final spot on offer at the FIBA Americas Championship for next year's big event in Turkey.

"The determining factor for the win today was our mental strength," Marcelinho Machado (15 pts) said.

"Although we did not have a good first half, we maintained our focus and that helped us have a great third quarter, which ensured our presence in the deciding game the FIBA Americas Championship."

Luis Scola poured in a game-high 31 points for Argentina in the other Semi-Final while Carlos Arroyo had 19 for Puerto Rico.

Argentina will take on Canada on Sunday in the battle for the bronze medal before Puerto Rico clash with Brazil for the title.


Final Results
3rd Place
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