Playing in front of their hometown fans, San Antonio Spurs’ Manu Ginobili and the Argentine national team had an easy time defeating Paraguay in their first game at the FIBA Americas Championship held at Mar del Plata Argentina.
The Argentines made a strong run from the get go, finishing the first period ahead 27-8 and never looked back.
The second quarter went closer with the Argentines winning it 18-15 stretching their advantage to 45-23 at halftime.
During the second half, Team Argentina never let up, outscoring Paraguay 24-17 in the third period and further extend their lead, 69-40 heading into the final quarter.
Argentina were all business, taking the fourth quarter 15-12 as they notched an easy 84-52 victory over Paraguay.
Paolo Quinteros led the Argentines with 19 points, Houston Rockets’ Luis Scola had 14 points and six rebounds, while Juan Gutierrez added 12 points.
Ginobili had 10 points, five rebounds, three assists on 42.9 percent shooting from the floor and went 4-of-4 from the foul line but also committed four turnovers in 21 minutes of playing time.
Philadelphia Sixers’ Andres Nocioni had 10 points and five boards for Team Argentina and former Spur Fabricio Oberto did not play in the win.
Big man Guillermo Araujo had a team-high 18 points for Paraguay and Bruno Zanotti chipped in 13 points.
Paraguay plays Puerto Rico next at 14:00 (GMT -3) while Ginobili and Team Argentina goes up against Uruguay at 18:00 (GMT -3) in Mar del Plata on Wednesday.