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Julio Lamas (Argentina)
ARG - Change can be gradual for Lamas

BUENOS AIRES (Olympics) - Argentina are not an exception when it comes to one very important law of international basketball.

Change is inevitable.

As players grow older, youngsters will take their place.

Coach Julio Lamas, after leading the Argentinians to a fourth-place finish at the 2012 Olympics, understands the process of blooding players, which is something he did in London when giving Facundo Campazzo important minutes at point guard.

There will no doubt be more new faces next summer in Caracas, too, when Venezuela host the FIBA Americas Championship and Argentina compete in the hope of earning a ticket to the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup.

"When I took charge again of the national team last year many people spoke of a generational change,” Lamas said.

“After studying the situation, we decided to stretch until London the stay of these incredible players that have given so much to Argentinian basketball in the last decade.”

Among the veteran players who won gold at the Athens Olympics and also played in London were Argentina basketball icon Manu Ginobili, who is 35.

“Now, after the Olympics, we have come to the end of a period,” Lamas said.

“Probably, the start of another is imminent.

“But in order to create it, we have to think about it in the right way.

“That doesn't mean we cannot leave a space for one of two stars, if they decide to continue.”

Lamas doesn’t know specifically which players will call it a day after London, but Ginobili will certainly be taking stock of his situation.

For those who watched him compete in London, the San Antonio Spurs star remains at the top of his game.

If he doesn’t play next summer and Argentina qualify for the World Cup in Spain, Ginobili could decide to make himself available.

Even so, Lamas says that he and everyone else need to take a considered look at the players who must now be integrated into the senior side.

“The time has come to find young players that take new responsibilities and that carry the team forward,” he said.

“Those that decide to end their international careers, we cannot ask them for more, but rather, thank them for all they gave to the national team during this time.

“For those that will continue, those that will increase their appearances or starring role, and those that will join the national team, the leadership of Luis Scola, Carlos Delfino, Andres Nocioni and Pablo Prigioni will help a lot, all whom will continue to bring the hierarchy and experience in the quest to maintain Argentinian basketball among the world elite."


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