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Manu GINOBILI (ARG)
11/03/2010
ARG - Manu hopeful of playing in Turkey

SAN ANTONIO (2010 FIBA World Championship) - Argentina's basketball icon Manu Ginobili is back to full fitness and playing a pivotal role for the play-off chasing San Antonio Spurs.

Injuries have hindered him in international competition in recent years but his performances of late with the Spurs have fuelled hopes that he will play for his country at the 2010 FIBA World Championship in Turkey.

"The tournament in Turkey is coming soon and as it gets closer, I am more and more looking forward to playing it," Ginobili said.

"It would be a strange feeling not to be part of the World Championship, it's inevitable."

Ginobili was outstanding at the 2002 FIBA World Championship in Indianapolis when Argentina won a silver medal, and he was terrific at the 2006 event in Japan when Argentina reached the Semi-Finals before a last-second defeat to eventual champions Spain.

The veteran guard's wife, however, is going to be giving birth to twins.

"As I said many times, there are things that come into play," Ginobili said in the Argentinian media.

"First and foremost, my twins, who will be a few months old by then and it will not be easy to leave them alone with their mother."

Ginobili is also uncertain about his NBA future as he will be out of contract at the end of the season.

"Secondly, I don't have a team just yet and I don't know what I will do," Ginobili said.

"Also my fitness condition also counts. In previous tournaments, this affected me.

"This is a complicated decision and whatever I decide, it will be a difficult choice."

Ginobili is so important to Argentina that coach Sergio Hernandez might consider allowing him to miss the bulk of the team's preparations.

"I wouldn't want to go to a World Championship without a warm-up tour, even if Sergio Hernandez would allow me to do so," Ginobili said.

"That would be a lack of respect and besides, I need time to re-adapt to FIBA rules and to my national teammates so it's not that easy."

Argentina will play in the Preliminary Round in Group A against Serbia, Australia, Germany, Jordan and Angola.

FIBA

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