Posted July 27, 2012 on AP on Fox
These Olympics could very well be the end for Argentina's "Golden Generation" and even their most recognizable player admits winning a gold medal is highly unlikely. That doesn't mean that Manu Ginobili, Luis Scola and the rest of the Argentinians don't plan on being somewhere on the podium. Argentina's quest for a third straight Olympic medal begins Sunday with a preliminary round matchup against Lithuania. With the United States as the consensus favorite to win gold and Spain not far behind, Argentina, France and several other teams figure to contend for bronze. Even Ginobili, the San Antonio Spurs shooting guard and a 10-year NBA veteran, is taking a realistic approach. "The gold medal is very tough, almost a utopia," said Ginobili, who turned 35 on Saturday. "But getting the bronze medal would not be impossible. The United States and Spain are still the favorites. Then comes France and after that there is a pack of four, five or six teams with a chance for bronze." Argentina has performed well in recent Olympics, stunning a United States team with LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Carmelo Anthony in the semifinals in Athens eight years ago before beating Italy to win gold. Ginobili and Scola were two of the driving forces behind that team and also helped lead Argentina to a bronze medal at the 2008 Beijing Games. Both are back for these Olympics and will be joined in the starting lineup by Carlos Delfino, Andres Nocioni and Pablo Prigioni. Argentina is among the oldest teams in this tournament with four of the five starters over 30, and this could be the end of a great run for the group. "In London, I hope it's not the farewell for too many," coach Julio Lamas said. "If it's the case that many will be retiring, I hope we play our best game and finish as well as possible." Argentina went 9-1 in last fall's FIBA Americas Championship, beating Brazil in the title game to qualify for London. Ginobili scored 23 points in an 86-80 loss to the United States in an exhibition in Barcelona last Sunday after a 20-point defeat to Spain two days earlier. "We played much better on defensive rotations, gathered people in the paint and did well in rebounding," Ginobili said. "We're more satisfied than against Spain, feeling that we took a step forward and that always bodes well for the start of the championship." Lithuania has reached the semifinals of every Olympics since Barcelona, winning bronze in 1992, '96 and '00 before finishing fourth in Athens and Beijing. Although Lithuania can't match Argentina's firepower, it does have several current and former NBA players on its roster. Darius Songaila played eight seasons in the NBA, most recently with Philadelphia in 2010-11. Linas Kleiza averaged 9.7 points in 49 games last season for Toronto and Sarunas Jasikevicius appeared in 138 games with Indiana and Golden State from 2005-07. Another player to watch is center Jonas Valanciunas, who will be a rookie for Toronto this season after the Raptors selected him fifth overall in the 2011 draft. Valanciunas had 17 points and seven rebounds in a 109-83 victory over the Dominican Republic earlier this month at the 2012 World Olympic Qualifying Tournament that clinched a trip to London. These Group A teams next play Tuesday, with Argentina facing France and Lithuania opposing Nigeria.

Ginobili wants Argentina to start strong

The Argentinians have a tough task ahead of them if they want to get on to the medal podium in this year’s Olympics. They’re in Group A with the United States, which means winning the group is going to be a monumental task. However, Spurs guard Manu Ginobili makes it seem like that’s not their top priority. Ginobili says he’d like for Argentina to get second or third in...

Argentina routs Lithuania 102-79 in Olympic hoops

Luis Scola and Manu Ginobili are together again on the world stage with Argentina. And the explosive duo combined for 53 points to help Argentina get started on its quest for a third straight Olympic men's basketball medal with a 102-79 victory over Lithuania on Sunday night. Scola, now with the Phoenix Suns, scored a game-high 32 points. Ginobili, the San Antonio Spurs star...

Argentina routs Lithuania 102-79

Luis Scola and Manu Ginobili are together again on the world stage with Argentina. And the explosive duo combined for 53 points to help Argentina get started on its quest for a third straight Olympic men's basketball medal with a 102-79 victory over Lithuania on Sunday night. Scola, now with the Phoenix Suns, scored a game-high 32 points. Ginobili, the San Antonio Spurs star...

Ginobili has high praise for Team Venezuela, Hornets' Vasquez

Heading into the 2012 Olympic basketball tournament, there are the teams that are penciled in to make a serious run at a medal. Teams like the U.S., France, Argentina, and Spain are certainly going to be battling and leading the way for Team Argentina will be San Antonio Spurs' Manu Ginobili. Ginobili will be guiding Argentina to another medal but another South American team...

The Rundown: Argentina blasts Lithuania

For being considered one of the elder teams in the Olympics, San Antonio Spurs guard Manu Ginobili and Argentina showed that age doesn’t exclude firepower as the Argentineans blasted Lithuania 102-79 to take a 1-0 lead in their 2012 Olympic run. Old? Ginobili, a day after turning 35-years of age, put up a double-double with 21 points, 10 rebounds, six assists, and four steals...

Four Brief And Obvious Points About Whether The Current US Olympic Team Would Beat The 1992 Version

First... what do you expect the current athletes to say? "No, sorry, we suck. We'll be just thrilled if we get a medal in this thing. I mean, have you seen Spain? They have Gasols. PLURAL. Not just one, two! No way we can overcome that. And even if we do, Argentina is just laying in wait, with Manu Ginobili, Luis Scola and a bench full of crazy Spanish-German hybrids from...

Argentina-France Preview

While Argentina opened the Summer Games on a positive note, France plans to move on quickly from its first Olympic contest in 12 years. Argentina continues its quest for a third consecutive Olympic medal as it faces France on Tuesday night in group play in London. With key players Luis Scola, Manu Ginobili and Andres Nocioni all in their 30s, some have branded the Argentines too...

Scouting Argentina vs. Lithuania (Basketball)

Closing Sunday’s day of San Antonio Spurs players in Olympic action will be guard Manu Ginobili and Argentina, as they will face Lithuania at 4:15 PM CST in London. Though Argentina seems like the favorite in this matchup, they can’t take Lithuania too lightly as the Lithuanians have multiple players with NBA experience on their squad, though the Lithuanians have been struggling...

Luis Scola, Jason Terry, Lamar Odom Among 2012 NBA Offseason's Most Underrated Acquisitions (Photos)

Ray Allen is now hitting the links in Miami. Steve Nash is a member of the Lakers. Joe Johnson is hanging out with the hipsters in Brooklyn. The big names naturally attracted most of the attention when they switched teams this offseason. Stars sell tickets, and NBA Finals hopefuls were thrilled to add to their squads with proven players. Other moves that were no less important to...
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