After defeating Venezuela by 53 points three days ago, San Antonio Spurs' Manu Ginobili and Argentina defeated Venezuela again Tuesday night, 90 to 73, in the first game of the 2011 CABB Argentine Championships.
Ginobili led Argentina for the third consecutive game with 19 points, three rebounds, two assists, while getting to the free throw line and making 11-of-14 free throws in 27 minutes. Former Spur Fabricio Oberto only logged 3:38 minutes of action as he grabbed one rebound.
However, it did not start off well for Argentina. In the first quarter shots didn't go in. Both teams struggled shooting as they were tied at 20 to the end the first. Philadelphia's Andres Nocioni had five points while Ginobili had four points.
In the second quarter, Ginobili would only log 1:44 minutes before being sent to the bench for the remainder of the half. Pepe Sanchez would be the leader for Argentina with strong plays driving to the basket. At halftime, Argentina narrowly led 39 to 38. Both teams were still struggling shooting as Argentina only connected on 14-of-32 shots and Venezuela shot 12-of-34 in the first half.
In the third quarter, Argentina's Hernan Jasen took an elbow to the face and blood began draining over the court and his jersey. He would be taken to the locker room where medical attention was sought. Ginobili had a classic play in the third quarter. Houston's Luis Scola missed a jumper, Ginobili went between two defenders to grab the offensive rebound. Once planted, he fought for the ball and got the foul call from the referees.
Ginobili and Scola owned the third quarter as Ginobili scored seven points alone while Scola was up to 13 for the game; the Argentinians led 66 to 57 going into the fourth quarter.
In the fourth quarter, Ginobili again showed why he plays 110% on every play. He came fully sprinting for a cut, his teammate passed him the ball and Ginobili attacked the rim going at top speed. He was fouled, flew to the floor, and got up as if nothing happened. It was a classic Manu play, but one that scares the hell out of you if you're a fan, coach, or teammate.
Ginobili would score six points in the fourth quarter to help Argentina pull away and earn the 17-point win. Scola finished with 15 points, Nocioni had 13 points as well as Pablo Prigioni. Argentina's defense held Venezuela to just 16 points in the fourth quarter.
Team Argentina will play Venezuela once more next week in the second game of the CABB Championships.