Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Orange anyone? (July 18th)

Of course I'm not talking about Holland and their excellent national team.

This is not a fruits and vegetables blog, so I'm not talking about the most popular fruit juice of all.

What am I talking about?

I'm talking about basketball!

The 'sport of the orange ball' is celebrating its World Championships 2006 in Japan next month and, if you like the idea, I will be writing my views on that event and the chances our boys have to repeat the excellent performance of 2002 in Indianapolis, USA, when they lost in the final after a very controversial call in the last play of the game.

In between the two World Championships (Indianapolis and Japan), Argentina have won the Gold medal in Athens 2004 in what was credited as one of the best moments in our sporting history.

In one month and one day, Manu GINOBILI and his mates will be facing Tony PARKER and the French team in our opening match. And I will be turning Japanese for a while! Because I'll watch all the matches, even though the first match starts at 1 AM (Buenos Aires) and the last one tips off at 6 AM!

I expect to live some very long hours next month and I hope you're here with me, supporting Argentina all the way!


Mohammad O. Ali said...

I think the team has very strong chances in beating France (although Tony Parker is their) in their first game, I think they are pressured from their surrounding for the mission of keeping the title. But then again they are professional (some of which play in the NBA) and shouldn’t be distracted by this pressure.

Cantona said...

I think america will be unstoppable in this tournament especially since they have been repeatedly humiliated in the global stage recently.
Teams that could beat USA in a one off are argentina, italy, germany and lithuania.

I will be following the results but will only watch the nock out stages

Anonymous said...

Regardless if it is Football, Basketball, Rugby or Hockey or anything else. It is Vamos Argentina for me all the way.

Yes Seba, do update us in you blog. I think it is great idea.

By the way, I have a question. I've heard so much about Luis Scola, as he is probably one of the best players in Europe. By the hasn't gone to the NBA???


Seba said...

Thanks for your comments! Good to see I won't be alone here!

Read an interview with Manu GINOBILI yesterday and he seems to be focused and he is not worried about the pressure of doing well everybody seem to be putting the team under.

He says he was missing the national team and be a part of it but he had to stop playing for Argentina for a while because he was exhausted. Remember he made the transition from Europe to the NBA in the middle of the World Championships and then Athens 2004 followed. He had very long seasons with San Antonio Spurs in the process (winning 2 titles) and so I understand how he was feeling.

Now he says it's the right time to comeback to the international stage.

Cantona: I would add Spain to that group of teams that could beat the USA in a one off. Pau GASOL is not alone in that team and they are one of the strongest in Europe.

One thing that seems to be certain is that Kobe BRYANT won't be playing because he is recovering from surgery. A shame, I wanted to see him.

With the USA is always a matter of how they take it. If they go on a tourist trip they'll lose again. If they want to compete seriously...then I think nobody should beat them. Hope if we have to play against them we can keep the emotional edge (memories of beating them in Indianapolis 02 and Athens 04).

As for Luis SCOLA, I'm surprise he is not in the NBA yet. But he is young and San Antonio Spurs (I think) have the rights after drafting him some time ago. They are monitoring him and will call him to join them the moment they think is right.

He will play in the NBA in the future.

By the way, it looks almost certain that we'll have another player in the NBA: Walter HERRMANN will surely sign a contract with the Charlotte Bobcats to play for them starting next season!

Cantona said...

Well here is an interesting little paragraph i picked up while surfing through the net. It seems brazil and slovenia might be challengers as well.

On paper, Team USA should be the favorite at the World Championships. Even with Bryant and Pierce out with injury, and Billups not available for the actual games in Japan because of the birth of a child, the U.S. team will be loaded. But as the cliché goes, these games are not played on paper. If Team USA's experience at Indianapolis and Athens proved anything it is that it no longer can just throw five superstars on the floor and expect to win. The rest of the world has closed the gap in terms of talent. More important, many of the top foreign teams have more experience playing together and know how to excel within the framework of the rules and nuances of the international game. Among Team USA's biggest threats in Japan (and some of the NBA players who might play for those teams) include defending Olympic gold medalist Argentina (Manu Ginobili, Andres Nocioni, Carlos Delfino), France (Tony Parker, Boris Diaw, Mickael Pietrus, Johan Petro), Brazil (Leandro Barbosa, Nenê, Anderson Varejao) and Slovenia (Beno Udrih, Rasho Nesterovic, Primoz Brezec, Bostjan Nachbar).

Seba said...

Spot on Cantona!

I will add to that group of Argentine players the name of Fabricio OBERTO who now has one NBA season of experience playing alongside Manu GINOBILI in San Antonio.

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