Argentina had a shot at capturing three Olympic medals in a row but against Russia, they came up short losing 81-77 thus more than likely ending the “Golden Generation” of Argentina basketball.
Capturing a medal would have been a phenomenal fairy-tale ending for Argentina and San Antonio Spurs’ Manu Ginobili but the loss has left Ginobili with one of the most painful losses in his basketball career.
“I feel it is one of the most painful defeats of my career, possibly more. Also to lose in front of the world, it hurt a lot, but it’s been ten years and losing is the bitter taste right now. What happened today ten minutes ago and I feel that is the worst time in the world, “said number five of Argentina.
“We are a better team than we showed today. I believe it really. That’s what hurts me most,” he added.
You can point to a controversial call by the refs in the waning moments of the game versus Russia but this Argentinian team and Manu have no reason to hand their heads low. Team Argentina has produced some of the best talent the NBA has seen. Players like Carlos Delfino, Luis Scola, FabricioOberto, Ginobili, Andres Nocioni and next season PabloPrigioni all have shown the world just how special this team has been.
They were the first team to ever defeat the mighty U.S. squad, won a gold medal, and have always been considered one of the world’s top basketball teams.
Though this team came up short in London, they still showed just how gritty, proud, and close this team is. They tested Team U.S.A. in London, and were able to make it to a medal game despite their age.
As for Manu, he has seen it all. He has won NBA titles, and even saw the Spurs lose four games straight to the Thunder in the Western Conference Finals this past season. But for him to say this loss was the worst of his career, just shows you how much pride he has at representing his home country and yearning to see him and his long-time friends and teammates with a medal around their necks.
This may have been Manu’s last time with Team Argentina (though he hasn’t fully said he is done) and if it is, then what a legacy did he and the “Golden Generation” leave for the next crop of Argentinian basketball players.