By David Gold

Argentina_celebrate_winning_FIBA_Americas_tournament_September_11_2011September 11 - The 2004 Olympic men's basketball champions Argentina have qualified for the London 2012 Olympic Games after a 80-75 victory over South American rivals Brazil in the final of the FIBA Americas Championship in Mar de Plata.

Brazil will also be heading to London having reached the final with a 83-76 win over the Dominican Republic, and Argentina's place was secured with their 81-79 win over Puerto Rico in the semi-finals.

It was a closely fought game which looked like it could be slipping away from Argentina late on, despite holding an 11 point lead in the final minute.

They somehow contrived to let the lead slip to two points, before Luis Scola broke away to net a three pointer for Argentina, who were the bronze medallists at Beijing in 2008.

With 32 points, Scola (pictured) was the inspiration behind Argentina, and won the Most Valuable Player award.

"It is a mix between exhaustion and excitement and happiness, of course," said Argentina's Manu Ginobili.

"We've been together for 45 days just to accomplish this.

"It was not easy to play today.

"Yesterday was very tiring and emotional.

"Once we got that goal [qualifying], coming here we made one further step, so we are very, very happy."

Brazil will be delighted to make the Olympics despite the defeat, and it will be the first time they have gone that far since the 1996 Atlanta Games.

Also making their way to the Olympics next year will be Australia's women's and men's teams, who both opened up unassailable 2-0 leads over New Zealand in best of three qualifiers in Sydney.

The women's team will be looking to clinch a fifth successive medal in London next year, having won silver in the last three tournaments.

The Kiwis men's team will still have one more chance to qualify for London though, as will both the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and Venezuela in a tournament to be held shortly before the Games.

They will be joining Nigeria, Angola, two more teams from Asia and a quartet from Europe before the Olympic Games in July next year to try and reach London.

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