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12/09/2011
Brazil v Argentina. Argentina win the 2011 FIBA Americas Championship, 11 September 2011

MAR DEL PLATA (FIBA Americas Championship) - Argentina won their second FIBA Americas in history after beating Brazil 80-75 in Mar del Plata.

The two teams had already clinched an Olympic spot thanks to their semifinal wins to Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico that ended third and fourth respectively.

In a game that stayed close throughout, Argentina prevailed led by Luis Scola, who scored his tournament-high 32 points, handled in four assists and grabbed three rebounds.

Scola was FIBA Americas MVP and top scorer.

"I wasn't expecting this tournament to be that special. But it was so big and so great I can compare it to biggest tournaments like the Olympic Games we won," said Luis Scola.

The Houston Rockets centre recovered from a knee surgery in April.

"It was incredible because I didn't know if I could make it to the games due to my injury and I finished as the MVP," added Scola, who averaged 21,4 points and 6,3 rebounds per game.

Manu Ginóbili became emotional after celebrating, jumping and singing with the crowd for 30 long minutes.

"We had 9,000 desperate people shouting for us and we were there, celebrating after 45 days of tough work," said Manu.

"We won a tournament playing at home after 10 years, it's great.

Argentina were champions in the 2001 FIBA America, played in Neuquén, Argentina. After that, the team ended second in the 2002 World Championships.

The team's peak arrived in 2004, when Scola, Ginóbili and Co won the Gold Medal in Athens.

Two semifinals followed the Medal, including a fourth place in the 2006 World Championship and Bronze in Beijing 2008.

Carlos Delfino contributed 16 points and nine rebounds in the final match after having some trouble to focus on the game.

"I couldn't sleep last night because we had to play a final game against Brazil, at home after all the stress we had on Saturday.

"But on the other hand we were already in London, our third consecutive qualification, our third Olympic Game, being in the Olympic Village again and everything that surrounds the Village," said Delfino, who was part of the 2004 Gold Medal.

"We are getting old but we've got a big heart and big guts. God willing, we will play a great tournament and get a new Gold," said the Milwaukee Bucks guard.

Ginóbili tried to explain how the team remained in the top positions for the last ten years.

"We are united, a group of friends, we are all really happy about Luis Scola earning the MVP prize after such a tough recovery he had or Nocioni playing with his ankle absolutely injured and these are only a couple of examples we can name," explained Ginóbili

"Let the legend continue," said Manu.

Brazil had a party of their own as the Cariocas will have a Men's Basketball Team after 16 years in the Olympic Games.

"We had one goal and that was making it to London," said Tiago Splitter.
 

The all tournament team :
Marcelo Huertas (Brazil) PG
Carlos Arroyo (Puerto Rico) SG
Emanuel Ginbili (Argentina) SF
Luis Scola (Argentina) PF
Al Horford (Dominican Republic) C

FIBA
 

  
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