Argentine basketball team, the champion of the Athens 2004 Olympic Games, arrived in Beijing at 5 p.m. on July 22.
The Argentine team, which will participate in the first Borislav Stankovic Cup in China, flew from Kuala Lumpur, delayed for about 2 hours.
This is the first time the Argentina basketball team visit China, it made them excited. "I know China has a real star Yao Ming, and other good player. I think in a few years, they can be the top of the world. So we are very happy to be here." head coach Sergio Hernandez said.
Sergio Hernandez, the new head coach of the Argentina only take two Olympic gold-medallists: Leonardo Gutierrez and Gabriel Fernandez, in his first national squad.
The squad arrived today is:
Guards: Daniel Farabello (Varese), Nicolas Gianella (Lleida), Antonio Porta (Livorno).
Shooting-guards: Julio Mazzaro (River Plate), Paolo Quinteros (Boca Juniors).
Small-forwards: Hernan Jasen (Adecco Estudiantes), Federico Kammerichs(Valencia).
Power-forwards: Leonardo Gutierrez (Ben Hur), Gabriel Fernandez (Lleida), Diego Lo Grippo (Cantabria).
Centres: Roman Gonzalez (Argentino), Juan Gutierrez (Granada).
"This is not the same team that won the Olympic gold medal." Hernandez told SINA reporter, "We add some talent young men, and we are happy to be in Beijing."
Though it is a different Argentina, their goal is the same. "We always try to to win a tournament." Hernandez said, "But other teams also want to do this, so we know this will be a difficult tournament."
Hernandez also explained why Manu Ginobili, the best basketball player in Argentina, wasn't in his squad, "Manu had a really long long season in NBA, so he need rest. He must prepare for the next season, and the world championship in Japan next year. So I hope next time you will see Manu." he said.
The Stankovic Cup will be held at Beijing on July 26-31. The champion of this tournament will win US$100,000; the second 50,000, and the third 25,000.
Argentina is the first team that arrived in Beijing. They will debut on July 26 versus Australia, before playing Angola, Lithuania, hosts China and Puerto Rico.
(bscup.sina.com.cn July 25, 2005)