When you think Argentina basketball, you think Manu Ginobili. Though, following the first day of action in London, Manu’s supporting cast is pretty solid.
Ginobili struggled from the perimeter, but managed to put up 21 points for his home country. However, Scola poured in a game-high 32 points, propelling Argentina to a 102-79 win.
The newest member of the Phoenix Suns dominated at the low block. Lithuania did not have much of an answer for Scola, which caught up with them.
They didn’t have an answer for Carlos Delfino either. Ginobili and Pablo Prigioni hit consecutive threes to start the game, but the team collectively missed the next nine three-point attempts.
Delfino ended the drought with his first long ball of the night at the 6:01 mark in the second quarter. After netting that shot, he went on to knock down 6-of-9 three point shots, and ended the game with 20 points.
Lithuania held their own for about a quarter, but the momentum permanently shifted in favor of Argentina after Delfino drained a trey to end the second quarter.
Argentina picked up its first win in pool play, and things went their way for the most part. Lithuania turned the ball over 16 times, which was made possible by Argentina’s physical defense continually sticking their hands in passing lanes and not allowing any easy shots at the post.
Ginobili led the squad with four steals, as well as a team-high 10 rebounds. His ability to move the ball translated quite well overseas, although Argentina failed to connect after a few Manu-type passes.
Argentina will take the court Tuesday in London. Ginobili and Co. will face Tony Parker and France, who started off pool play with a blowout loss to the United States. Argentina and France will tip at 2:00 pm CT, and will follow another Pool A match-up featuring Team USA and Tunisia.