Saturday, August 26, 2006

Argentina vs New Zealand

"Manu Ginobili exploded for 28 points and Fabricio Oberto had 23 along with 10 rebounds as Argentina won 79-62 over New Zealand on the opening day of the eight-finals at the FIBA World Championship. " From

I really enjoyed reading this interview (also from, so I'm going to post it in it's entirety

ARG - Manu Ginobili: "We cannot be greedy"

SAITAMA (FIBA World Championship) - Argentina are just three victories away from capturing the gold medal at the FIBA World Championship after Saturday's 79-62 triumph over New Zealand.

Manu Ginobili poured in a game-high 28 points, making big shots in the lane and also sinking Argentina's only three pointer in the final quarter to put the result beyond doubt.

Olympic champions in 2004, Ginobili firmly believes he and his team-mates can go on and win the world title for the first time in their history.

Ginobili spoke to PA Sport's Cindy Garcia-Bennett on behalf of FIBA after his magnificent effort against the Tall Blacks.

FIBA: Manu, at times it looked as if Argentina struggled against New Zealand today.

Ginobili: "We suffered but we still won by 17 points against a rival we knew could really complicate our lives. We cannot be greedy and think we are going to win every game by 30 points."

FIBA: Is everthing okay for the Argentina team right now?

Ginobili: "I think we have it all, perhaps playing well when it matters. I don't think there's an area in which we are struggling. In our previous games we shined at shots from the perimeter and it wasn't the case today but we still played well. This happens in a tournament. There's no specific problems that we have."

FIBA: Did you feel rested and refreshed coming into this FIBA World Championship?

Ginobili: "In previous years it has been very tough but this year we were eliminated in the semi-finals of the conference in the NBA and I've had plenty of time to rest so I cannot complain about anything. I am extremely happy and I will continue to be as long as my national team keeps on winning. If we lose our next game I will feel terrible.
"I didn't come to this World Championship looking to take the spotlight or focuse too much on stats but rather on helping Argentina become champions.
"As long as we continue in this path I will be happy."

FIBA: Do you feel more pressure because you have won an Olympic gold medal?

Ginobili: "For sure there is more responsibility being the Olympic champions.Everybody says that Argentina, Spain and United States are favourites but it's not automatic. In a World Championship any team can surprise you and that carries some pressure. Having said that, most of the players in this national team have had to deal with some pressure in their careers we are therefore, we are used to it.

FIBA: Argentina will play the winner of Slovenia versus Turkey. Do you have a preference?

Ginobili: "I know more the Slovenian team well because I have played with some of their players. I know little about Turkey but those who know them have warned us that they are very dangerous and play well. At this point of the tournament all the rivals are difficult so whoever it is will be."

FIBA: What could prevent Argentina from not clinching the gold medal in Japan?

Ginobili:"There's no question that our aim is to win gold but it will depend on how we play and whether the crucial shot in a tight game goes in. I think it's the same for other teams and that will be the case in our next game."

FIBA: Saturday's game was your team's first game at the Super Arena in Saitama, what do you make of this venue?

Ginobili: "This arena is gigantic and it's great to see so many fans in the stands.One thing I didn't like was the rigidness of the rims, as we struggled to make some shots but it's something that obviously affects both teams. We will have to get used to it."

FIBA: Have you been able to watch any of Team USA's games so far?

Ginobili: "We haven't seen any of our rivals play because we haven't been able to watch it on TV. We have seen the stats but we are really focusing on our national team."

By Cindy Garcia-Bennett, FIBA


Rachel said...

You know your a Andernation blog fan when you are at Toys R Us and are looking at the posters and see a poster of Manu Ginobili and think of Rita....LOL this really did happen last night. I have no idea who this guy is but now I do. Have a good weekend Rita.

Rita said...

Rachel: Thanks for the good smile and laugh, much needed before work!!!

Hope you have a great weekend as well!