Brazil claims spot in London Olympics

By VICENTE L. PANETTA | September 10, 2011 | 8:15 PM EDT

Brazil's Tiago Splitter, left, attempts to dribble past Dominican Republic's Jack Martinez during a FIBA Americas Championship semi-final basketball game in Mar del Plata, Argentina, Saturday Sept. 10, 2011. The top two finishers of the tournament get an automatic berth in the 2012 London Olympics and the next three advance to the last-chance Olympic qualifier to be held in July 2012. (AP Photo/Martin Mejia)

MAR DEL PLATA, Argentina (AP) — Brazil beat the Dominican Republic 83-76 on Saturday to claim a berth in next year's London Olympics.

Marcelo Machado led Brazil with 20 points in the semifinal victory, which puts the South Americans into the final of the Olympic basketball qualifying tournament for the Americas on Sunday.

Argentina and Puerto Rico meet in the second semifinal later Saturday.

The two finalists qualify automatically for London. The third through fifth-place teams earn spots in a qualifying tournament just before the games, which will award several more berths for London. Venezuela claimed the fifth-place spot.