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Yao, Ginobili to Miss Stankovic Cup

Big names like Yao Ming and Manu Ginobili would like to take the vacation to nurse their injuries, rather than competing in the inaugural Stankovic Continental Champions Cup.

The Cup, which is slated from July 26-31 at the Capital Stadium, includes six continental champions - European champion Lithuania, Africanchampion Angola, Oceanian champion Australia, South American champion Argentina, North American champion Puerto Rico and Asian champion China.

Dr. Carl Men Ky ching, President of the world basketball governing body FIBA, had promised the best players of the six champion teams would play in the competition last month when he announced China to hold the event.

Houston Rockets' center Yao Ming had come back from the U.S. onJuly 11, but he will not play in the competition because he underwent an ankle surgery last month.

China's head coach Jonas Kazlauskas said Yao and captain Li Nan, who issuffering a knee injury, will miss the competition, and the date of Yao's return to the national team is not decided.

Athens Olympic champion Argentina rests San Antonio Spurs' guard Ginobili at home after the Spurs won the NBA title last month.

Argentina head coach Sergio Hernandez said, "Manu had a long and fatigue season in the NBA. He needs rest. We need him for (next year's) world championships and another NBA title."

Puerto Rico plays without top player, NBA finalists Detroit Pistons' guard Carlos Arroyo.

Lithuania sends a complete new squad to Beijing. None of their players has experience in the Athens Olympic Games.

(Xinhua News Agency July 26, 2005)


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