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Bottles fly at FIBA Tournament

Aug. 31, 2003 at 10:58 AM

SAN JUAN, Aug. 31 (UPI) -- Taking hard fouls and ducking flying bottles, the United States earned a berth for the 2004 Olympics with a 87-71 victory over Puerto Rico.

A shoving match between Kenyon Martin and Daniel Santiago and a near-fight between Tracy McGrady and Eddie Casiano put a damper on the victory by the Americans (9-0).

"I don't think this team is going to lose again," said Team USA forward Jermaine O'Neal, who had 14 points and 10 rebounds.

In the second quarter, O'Neal elevated for a dunk and was pushed to the floor by Santiago, who quickly adopted an apologetic stance. But Martin intervened and shoved Santiago before the referees broke things up.

In the final seconds of the first half, McGrady harassed Casiano as he dribbled upcourt, getting away with a couple of fouls. He stripped Casiano as he knocked him to the floor, batting the ball into the backcourt.

As McGrady and Casiano got into it, players from both teams came off the benches and bottles of water were thrown at the players. Team USA coach Larry Brown was hit with a cup of beer.

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