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5. Manu GINOBILI (Argentina)
Manu GINOBILI (Argentina). France v Argentina. 2012 Olympic Games: Tournament for Men, Preliminary Round. 31 July 2012
ARG - Manu leaves the door open

BAHIA BLANCA (Olympics/FIBA Basketball World Cup) - Manu Ginobili is now a month on from the wars of the London Games.

At his third Olympics, he and Argentina slugged it out with Brazil in the Quarter-Finals and prevailed but then lost hard-fought games to the United States in the Semi-Finals and to Russia in the Bronze Medal Game.

Now back home in Bahia Blanca, before returning to San Antonio for the new NBA season with the Spurs, Ginobili is reflecting on the summer with the national team.

"I still have mixed emotions about London," he said.

"We were among the top four, we played well, I played well and that is why I am satisfied.

"On the other hand, I still feel pity and anger with the fact that we let the bronze medal go by a small margin."

Russia were deserving winners of the bronze, yet they claimed it by the skin of their teeth by beating Argentina, 81-77.

"It's like as if it had been decided by a coin flip," Ginobili said.

"But what can I say? This happens and we left a good image. We did what we had to do and I don't have any regrets."

Most people expected London to be the last hurrah for Ginobili with Argentina, but so far the proclamation that he will not wear the national team shirt has not been made.

The next big event that Argentina expect to play in will be the FIBA Basketball World Cup in Spain.

That sporting spectacle will take place in 2014.

"I never said I would continue, and I never said I would quit," Ginobili said.

"There are still two years, it's a long time.

"I don't know how I will be and everything will depend on that.

"But I do know that I will be 37 and it's not the same at that age as another age."

If he does, or does not play, the short-term future of national team is not bleak, bright.

Argentina, if they make it through the FIBA Americas Championship in Venezuela, will hope to reach the podium in Spain.

'As long as there are some (players) of the golden Olympic group (from 2004 Athens Games), we will have our chances," Ginobili said.

"Luis (Scola) is the best interior scorer in the world, alongside the Gasols (Spanish duo Pau and Marc); Carlos (Delfino) is a fantastic player; (Andres) Nocioni is impressive; Pablo Prigioni has been one of the best guards in Europe the last five years. The material is there and if you include (Facundo) Campazzo, (Marcos) Mata, (Marcos) Delia, in a few years ... After this, it's difficult to know what will happen."


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