Monday, April 23, 2007

Scola, Wolkowyski Give Thumbs-Up To Argentina

Luis Scola has given Argentina’s Olympic qualifying hopes a shot in the arm by confirming he will play for the country at this summer’s FIBA Americas Championship. BC Khimki veteran Ruben Wolkowyski has also said he intends to play.

With Walter Herrmann having all but ruled himself out and his fellow NBA-based players Manu Ginobili, Fabricio Oberto and Andres Nocioni hinting they will miss, national team coach Sergio Hernandez was desperate for some good news and now he’s got it.

Both Wolkowyski and Scola were important members of the teams that captured gold at the Athens Games in 2004 and silver two years earlier at the FIBA World Championship in Indianapolis.

Power forward Scola, who plays in Spain with ACB giants Tau Ceramica, told the Clarin newspaper: "I have never said I wouldn’t play (at the FIBA Americas Championship) or that I was in doubt."

Wolkowyski, a 2.07m BC Khimki center speaking ahead of his team’s Russian Superleague playoff tie with Dynamo Moscow Region, told the Ole newspaper: "I want to play at the pre-Olympic championship."I always want to play for the national team. It has given a lot to us, so we have to give something back too."Every Argentinian’s dream is to play in the national team, as well as mine."

However, the 33-year-old says that at his age, taking the summer off could make sense as he tries to prolong his career."I am fine now, but on Friday I start to play two games in two days and I am not 25 years old," he said."If it has been six or seven years ago, I would have walked all the way to join the national team, but now my body feels trips and games."I also want to see if I can sign for another team which would allow me peace of mind when joining the national team."

Scola was philosophical about the possible absences of veterans."This change does not have to be necessarily bad," Scola said."What we have to do is to leave comparisons aside. If we compare, we’ll have problems. We’ll have to start writing a new story as a team."

The three teams with the best chances of taking the two qualifying places in the tournament that is staged from August 22 to September 2 in Las Vegas are the United States, Argentina and Brazil."It will be a real war," Scola said."It will be terribly tough. The United States play at home and Brazil are a great team who want to take one of the berths."There are also some good teams like Puerto Rico and Venezuela, plus some others who always make it complicated for you, such as Panama and the Dominican Republic."

courtesy of http://www.fiba.com/

1 comment:

James O'Hara said...

For all you Chapu fans, here is a great song on ESPN's website!

http://espn-mp3-od.andomedia.com/stations/990/mjhnocioni.mp3