San Antonio Spurs’ Manu Ginobili and Argentina won the 2011 FIBA Americas gold medal as they defeated Brazil 80-75 on Sunday night in Mar del Plata, Argentina.
The game was a classic as Argentina held a 21-9 lead at the end of the first quarter. Argentina would hold their lead until the second half when Brazil made a comeback and made the fourth quarter a battle. Then, with 10 seconds remaining and Brazil trailing by five points, Marcelo Machado (7 points) connected on a three-pointer to cut Argentina’s lead 77-75. Ginobili would be fouled with six second remaining in the game and he sunk 1-of-2 free throws to give Argentina a 78-75 lead.
Brazil would turn the ball over and Houston Rockets’ Luis Scola would seal the game for the “Golden Generation” by making the last two free throws of the game.
Scola was dominant in the game as he finished as the leading scorer with 32 points and four assists.
Ginobili had eight points, four rebounds, three assists, one steal, and six turnovers in 30 minutes for Argentina. Ginobili took a shot to the nose in the second quarter as blood came gushing out from his nose. He would be sent to get the wound bandaged up and return to the game right before halftime.
Though he didn’t score, former Spur Fabricio Oberto finished with six rebounds in 18 minutes. Tiago Splitter played 22 minutes and ended the game with 12 points, five rebounds, and three assists. Splitter was once again in foul trouble throughout the game with four fouls.
Brazil was led by Marcus Vieria’s 17 points and five rebounds.
Both teams achieved their ultimate goal of earning qualifications to participate in next year’s 2012 London Olympic games. For Ginobili and Splitter, it’ll be time to rest their bodies after the grueling three weeks of the FIBA America’s tournament.
From there, they’ll have to wait and see when they can rejoin the Spurs as the NBA lockout continues.
(Photo: Yahoo sports)