San Antonio Spurs’ Manu Ginobili and Team Argentina, and Tiago Splitter’s Brazil had a long list of international battles.
Both teams were equally matched and consider themselves biggest rivals.
Even with not much at stake, other than positioning in the next round, Argentina and Brazil lived up to the hype.
Tiago Splitter and Brazil handed Argentina's first loss in the FIBA Americas Championship. (Photo via ESPN)
Brazil took the first quarter 19-17, before Argentina countered in a low-scoring second quarter, which Argentina won, 11-8 as they held a 28-27 lead at halftime.
Posted in FIBA, Olympic Qualifier
Tagged Alex Garcia, Andres Nocioni, FIBA, Luis Scola, Manu Ginobili, Marcelo Huertas, Pablo Prigioni, Rafael Hettsheimer, San Antonio Spurs, Tiago Splitter
San Antonio Spurs teammates Manu Ginobili and Tiago Splitter will battle it out later today as Argentina and Brazil meet at the FIBA Americas Championship tournament.
Over the past years, they have equally split wins in their last four continental clashes.
Both teams have already secured a semifinal spot but will be competing for a better position in the final standings.
Argentina remain unbeaten in the tournament after six games, while Brazil only lost to the Dominican Republic.
Argentina and Brazil have played four times in the last three FIBA Americas tournament, including a qualifying match for the 2008 Olympic Games.
In 2005, they faced each other on the final game, even though Argentina was already qualified to the 2006 World Championships as the Athens 2004 Gold Medal winners.
Brazil prevailed 100-88 thanks to an extraordinary performance from Tiago Splitter, who had 25 points and seven rebounds.
After beating Canada using their defense, San Antonio Spurs’ Manu Ginobili and Team Argentina had a terrific offensive game against Venezuela.
Manu Ginobili led Argentina to their sixth straight victory at the FIBA Americas Championship.
The Argentine nationals raced out into a 10-point lead after the first quarter and held a 51-43 lead at the half.
Venezuela won the third quarter 29-28 and were within striking distance 72-79 heading into the final quarter.
In the fourth quarter, Ginobili and Argentina made sure that there were no serious comeback attempts as they outscored Venezuela 32-21 to preserve the 111-93 victory.
Argentina is 2-0 in the quarter final round and remains the only unbeaten team at the FIBA Americas Championship tournament after six games and looked primed to clinched one of the two Olympic berths for the 2012 London Games.
Ginobili led the Argentines with 26 points, two rebounds, three assists and three steals and shot a scorching 71.4 percent from the field including 6-of-8 from beyond the arc in just 26 minutes of action.
Philadelphia Sixers’ Andres Nocioni added 19 points and seven rebounds, while Houston Rockets’ Luis Scola finished with 17 points for Argentina.
Hector Romero had a team-high 21 points for Venezuela.
Ginobili and Argentina will face perhaps their toughest challenge in the tournament tomorrow against Tiago Splitter and Team Brazil at 18:00 (GMT -3) in Mar del Plata.
After an easy win over Paraguay in the FIBA Americas opener, San Antonio Spurs’ Manu Ginobili said that it was important to win by a big margin in order to have their key players rested for the rest of the tournament.
Manu Ginobili played sparingly in Argentina's blowout win over Uruguay. (Photo via Spurs Nation)
His teammates heard him loud and clear, as Team Argentina coasted to another blowout victory, beating Uruguay 86-51 on the second day of the FIBA Americas tournament.
The Argentine national squad wasted no time in this one, building a 25-7 after the first quarter, and then stretched their lead over Uruguay to 53-19 at the half.
Uruguay were simply overmatched in all facets of the game losing the third quarter 21-11 and faced an insurmountable 74-30 deficit going into the final period.
With most of Argentina’s key players resting, Uruguay was able to win the fourth quarter 21-12 but eventually lost the game.
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.
Manu Ginobili and Argentina had easy time dispatching Paraguay.
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.
With the FIBA Americas Championships just about to begin, Philadelphia Sixers forward Andres Nocioni, one of the fiercest of Argentina’s Golden Generation members, has no doubts on what he wants for him and his team on the next days.
Argentina's Andres Nocioni
Before Argentina tips off at the FIBA Americas against Paraguay, Nocioni talked to FIBA about the team’s preparations and the pressure of playing home.
FIBA: How did you like this year’s preparations?
Nocioni: We didn’t play friendly games against top teams in the world as we did previously against Spain or Lithuania, but we faced teams we will meet during the tournament and that was useful to see where we are. The players that didn’t suffer any injury practiced really hard during the whole month.
Argentina coach Julio Lamas has announced his squad for the FIBA Americas Championship. Leonardo Mainoldi and Juan Pablo Figueroa were the last players to be cut.
Lamas announced what many were expecting.
“I chose the best twelve players because I can set up the best possible team and I have all the resources I need to play the tournament,” Lamas said at a press conference on Saturday.
Argentina, ranked 3rd in the world, will start the tournament as the favorites to clinch one of the two spots for the 2012 London Olympic Games.
Lamas, however, wants the player to go step by step.
“We still have three more days before tips off, which would represent four or five practicing hours,” the coach said. “We still have things to repeat and improve and we can still evolve in order to play better every day during the tournament.”
Team Argentina appears to be on a mission. One day after easily defeating Paraguay 82-56, Manu Ginobili and the Argentine national team showed another dominating performance, crushing Basque Country 92-28.
Andres Nocionio was once again the top scorer for Argentina, scoring 24 points on 7-of-14 shooting from the from the field.
While San Antonio Spurs’ Ginobili finished with 10 points, four assists and a rebound in limited action as Argentina felt little resistance from Basque Country.
With the game already decided early, coach Julio Lamas gave his bench more playing time and they delivered.
Juan Gutierrez had seven points and nine rebounds, Leiva had eight points and eight boards and Kammerichs added five points and three rebounds for Team Argentina.
In an article at the FIBA website, Manu Ginobili expressed how special his current Argentine national team is.
Argentina's Manu Ginobili and Fabricio Oberto.
Ginobili has played on successful teams in the NBA and in the international level, but claims he has never been part of a group more focused than the Argentine team as they prepare for the FIBA Americas Championship that will take place at their home country.
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.