BANGKOK (FIBA U19 World Championship for Women) - Argentina let Canada do all the initial running before taking control of the proceedings and then held on gallantly to win the bronze medal play off 58-51 on Sunday.
It was a maiden bronze medal clash for both teams.
After the initial sparring, when Canada seemed to hold the edge, Argentina made their move midway through the second quarter and kept their noses 27-24 ahead going into the changing rooms.
It was in the third quarter that the Argentines took charge of the issue with an 8-0 run early in the quarter.
Agostina Burani scored six of eight points and Debora Gonzalez converted two free-throws to put Argentina firmly ahead.
In all, Argentina outscored their rivals 18-8 and led 45-32 at the end of the third quarter, which came in handy especially when Canada mounted a rally in the fourth.
Michelle Plouffe scored all her four points for the game as Kayla Alexander and Nicole Clarke once each on the paint as Canada bridged the gap to 40-45, in the first few minutes of the final quarter.
Taryn Wicijowski converted one of the two free-throws and Canada leveled the scores at 48 and kept it tied even at 50.
"I think the girls were very gallant to stage that fight back. I'm proud of them for that rally alone," said Canada coach Rich Chambers.
"It really scared us," said Argentina guard Nadia Flores, who with a stunning long ranger had closed the third quarter.
But Ornella Santana five points and Nayla Kraft nailed a three-pointer and Argentina rode on their rivals' falterings in the closing moments to seal the victory.
"It's an incredible result. We were looking forward to it. But it will take a long time to sink in," Pinto said.
Debora Gonzalez led the scoring for Argentina with 14 points and Ornella Santana had 10.
Alexander had double-double collecting 14 rebounds to go with her game-high 18 points as Canada won the battle of the boards 49-22.
"We knew she would be strong under the board on both ends of the floor. So we had to work around her. I'm glad the girls carried out what we planned very well," Pinto said.
"You can't win a medal game with such poor shooting," Chambers said.
"We're still going home with our best finish," he added.