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Argentina, Puerto Rico among World Cup qualifiers

CARACAS (Reuters) - Luis Scola of the NBA's Indiana Pacers scored 28 points as Argentina beat Canada 73-67 to qualify for the basketball World Cup on Sunday.

Favourites Brazil failed to go through to the 2014 World Cup in Spain from the regional FIBA Americas qualifying tournament as did hosts Venezuela.

Argentina, who won the previous tournament in 2011, joined Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic and Mexico as qualifiers.

World title holders and Olympic champions United States had already qualified.

Minnesota Timberwolves guard Jose Barea was Puerto Rico's key player while their pivot Renaldo Balkman has been the tournament's leading scorer, averaging 20.1 points.

Mexico, helped by Atlanta Hawks center Gustavo Ayon, returned to the world championship after an absence of 40 years having only taken part in the qualifying tournament thanks to a ban on Panama.

(Reporting by Diego Ore; Writing by Rex Gowar in Buenos Aires, editing by Gene Cherry)

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