Saturday, September 02, 2006

USA finish 3rd

Congrats to the USA for finishing 3rd in the FIBA WC. Although I am happy for my national team, I am also sad that Argentina lost. I didn't know who to root, for even though deep down I was leaning toward Argentina just a little bit more. I'm still proud of Manu and the rest of the Argentina squad.

Tired Argentina fail to execute down the stretch

SAITAMA (FIBA World Championship) - Argentina guards Manu Ginobili and Pepe Sanchez admitted that the reigning Olympic champions were tired and failed to execute down the stretch of their 96-81 loss to the United States.

"We were not there. Our strategy was there but we didn't execute for the first time in this whole FIBA World Championship," Ginobili said.

"We tried our best, but it wasnt enough against a great team like them."

Sanchez added: "We played hard but we ran out of energy in the second half. Playing back to back is hard."

Ginobili, who led Argentina to the 2004 Olympic crown in Athens and missed the 2002 FIBA World Championship final with an injury, said the team was still down following their heart-breaking 75-74 loss to Spain in the semi-finals.

"Of course it's hard. You always want to go back home with something. But I'm way more disappointed about yesterday," he said.

"Even though we came for a medal, we were so close to getting a chance at gold that it's hard to be disappointed about not getting a bronze. I'm still upset from yesterday."

When asked how they tried to beat Team USA, Sanchez said: "We tried to get them to play FIBA style of basketball but they went on a great run."

"We tried to slow down the game a bit and make them play FIBA style of play and we did that for a while but then they came out in the second half and had a great run," Sanchez continued.

"It’s difficult for Team USA to play international basketball. They’re used to different rules and not used to so much contact. It’s a different kind of basketball altogether and it’s very hard to adjust. But today they played great. They made their open shots."

By David Hein and Simon Wilkinson

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