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29/07/2011

BUENOS AIRES (FIBA Americas Championship) - Argentina's star names will play at the FIBA Americas Championship after an insurance deal was secured late on Thursday by a delighted German Vaccaro.

The president of the Argentina Basketball Federation had been working against the clock to resolve the issue with team practices already underway and the likes of Luis Scola, Andres Nocioni, Manu Ginobili and Carlos Delfino on the sidelines with no insurance due to the ongoing NBA lockout.

A deal has now been struck with the Sancor Insurance company, enabling them to play on home soil at the FIBA Americas Championship, where Argentina will be targeting qualification for the London Olympics.

"At this moment I am just very happy to have managed this," Vaccaro said. "It has been a very exhausting process of endless meetings, moments of uncertainty and some disappointments.

"But as I said at the outset, we will send the best team possible to Mar del Plata."

The players can begin training on Friday, although some elements of the deal will not be finalised until next week. The Sancor Insurance company is to become a sponsor of the team, with more details of the relationship to be announced on Monday.

"I want to thank everyone who has worked hard on this both in our country and abroad," Vaccaro added. "We spoke to many insurance companies who wanted to help and were interested beyond just business.

"The Argentinian media has also supported us with respect and patience on this issue, which for us was unthinkable two months ago but which changed all of our plans."

"Now it is time to train, to play, to get ready to secure Olympic qualification so we can send our 'golden generation' to London 2012."

The ongoing NBA lockout has left several national teams scrambling to find insurance for their players to play in tournaments this summer, all acutely aware that Olympic qualification is on the line.

France and Russia are the other teams to have so far confirmed arrangements are in place for their NBA players to be available.

Talks between the NBA and the players union aimed at resolving the dispute are due to resume on Monday, although the two sides remain a considerable distance apart and a deal is unlikely to come quickly.

Meanwhile, according to a report on ESPN.com, Team USA and Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant will meet officials from Besiktas this weekend to discuss the possibility of playing in Turkey if the NBA season does not go ahead.

FIBA

  
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