Argentina is set to face off against the Philippines on Monday in a contest featuring two teams desperately in need of a win. Group B is currently being dominated by Greece and Croatia, and another loss by either of these teams could be devastating to their hopes of advancing out of the group stage.
The Argentines began the tournament with a bang, defeating Puerto Rico by a score of 98-75 thanks, in part, to the efforts of Luis Scola's 20 points and nine rebounds. Unfortunately, the team was derailed by Croatia 90-85, as its comeback bid fell short, dropping to 1-1 through two games.
It's been a difficult road so far for the Philippines. The team showed signs of life in its opening contest against Croatia, but even the 28-point effort of Andray Blatche couldn't lift the team past its opponent. A 12-point loss to the Greeks one game later saw the Philippines move to 0-2.
This is a pivotal contest for both squads, and it will surely bring plenty of excitement. Here's a look at the game's viewing information and a preview of what can be expected.
Where: Palacio Municipal de Deportes in Sevilla, Spain
When: Monday, September 1
Time: 11:30 a.m. ET
TV Info: NBA TV
Live Stream: WatchESPN
Argentina relies heavily on Scola, the talented power forward who leads the team in average points (25.0) and rebounds (9.0) per game through two contests. The team can stretch the court thanks to its athleticism and fine ball-handlers in Pablo Prigioni and Andres Nocioni.
A blend of speed, shooting prowess and accurate ball distribution allow the Argentines to flourish on the fast break and and light up the scoreboard. Here's a good look at how dangerous Argentina can be on the offensive end of the court:
Despite losing its last matchup against Croatia, the team has a positive mentality going forward. Guard Facundo Campazzo shared his thoughts after the game, via Sportando:
With the ability to put up some major points, an optimistic view for the remainder of the tournament, Argentina could be very difficult to defeat.
The Philippines have a difficult road ahead, but the team could quickly right the ship and gain some much-needed momentum with a victory over the Argentines on Monday.
While Argentina is the better shooting team, the Philippines can rely on their huge centers to produce rebounds and points in the paint. Blatche has been the team's catalyst thus far, leading the squad in points per game (24.5) and rebounds per game (13.0). He'll need to be a big factor in Monday's contest if this team is to produce a big upset.
The Philippines is also averaging 12 points per game off of turnovers like this one:
While the Philippines faces a tough challenge ahead, if it can continue to produce turnovers and win the battle in the boards, there's a possibility it will come away with its first win of the tournament.
Prediction: Argentina 88, Philippines 76