Argentina Ready For Title Defense In 2013 FIBA Americas Championships

Luis Scola will look to lead Argentina to back-to-back titles when they compete in the 2013 FIBA Americas in Caracas, Venezuela.

Luis Scola will look to lead Argentina to back-to-back titles when they compete in the 2013 FIBA Americas in Caracas, Venezuela.

Argentina will be missing several key players in the upcoming 2013 FIBA Americas Championships, but make no mistake about it – the Argentinians will go all out to defend their title.

Argentina will be playing without established stars Manu Ginobili and Pablo Prigioni in the upcoming tournament, but head coach Julio Cesar Lamas confidently said that they are ready to face the challenges ahead of them.

“We arrived well for the tournament. Then there are situations to be solved when playing for points, both in concentration and emotionally. All you have to do with the seriousness of the work and dedication we have done well,” Lamas said in a FIBA interview.

Lamas admitted that losing key players who played big roles in past major international tournament was a hard pill to swallow at first, but he sensed the eagerness of players to show their wares when they started training for the 2013 tournament of the Americas.

“When it happened the absences generated a sense of bitterness, but when we started training things went well. I am aware that the tournament starts tomorrow. We are in a new stage, hoping this group of young players has their first positive tournament and that Argentine basketball will be strengthened,” Lamas said.

While Ginobili and Prigioni will be missing in action, Argentina got the much-needed boost when veteran forward Luis Scola decided to play. Scola, who was recently acquired by the Indiana Pacers in the NBA, expects to play a bigger role, even bigger than his crucial roles before, while also pointing out that the other veterans of the squad will definitely step up.

“My role has not changed much in recent years. What changed is that in previous years it was shared and this year is more solitary. But I’m not alone either, because there’s also Juan Gutierrez , who’s played many tournaments, Marcos Mata , who was in several international championships,” Scola said.

Argentina, who defeated Brazil in the 2011 FIBA Americas finals, will kick off their campaign against Paraguay.

The 2013 FIBA Americas Championship, which serves as the qualifier for the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup in Spain next year, will run from August 30 to September 11 in Caracas, Venezuela.

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