According to a report on FIBA.com, Argentina has secured an insurance deal that will allow San Antonio Spurs guard Manu Ginobili and his felllow NBA teammates on the Argentine national team to play in the FIBA Americas Championship that will start next month.
German Vaccaro, the president of Argentina Basketball Federation had been working against the clock to resolve the issue with team practices already underway and their NBA stars on the sidelines.
A deal has now been struck with the Sancor Insurance company, enabling Ginobili and company to play for their home country at the FIBA Americas Championship, where Argentina will be targeting to qualify for the 2012 London Olympics.
“At this moment I am just very happy to have managed this,” Vaccaro said. “It has been a very exhausting process of endless meetings, moments of uncertainty and some disappointments.
“But as I said at the outset, we will send the best team possible to Mar del Plata.”
The players can begin training on Friday, although some elements of the deal will not be finalized until next week. The Sancor Insurance company is to become a sponsor of the team, with more details of the deal to be announced on Monday.
“I want to thank everyone who has worked hard on this both in our country and abroad,” Vaccaro added. “We spoke to many insurance companies who wanted to help and were interested beyond just business.
“Now it is time to train, to play, to get ready to secure Olympic qualification so we can send our ‘golden generation’ to London 2012.”
The ongoing NBA lockout has left several national teams scrambling to find insurance for their players to play in tournaments this summer, all acutely aware that Olympic qualification is on the line.
France and Russia are the other teams to have so far confirmed arrangements are in place for their NBA players to be available.
Ginobili will be joined by Luis Scola, Andres Nocioni, and Carlos Delfino on the Argentine national squad.