Argentina’s icon Manu Ginobili helped lead his team to a thrashing over Nigeria on Sunday night on Day 2 of the Rio Olympics.
There are a handful of San Antonio Spurs making their presence felt in the Rio Olympics for their respective teams. Ginobili and Argentina took command right from the start and never looked back as they defeated Nigeria by 28, 94-66. Ginobili helped in the onslaught as he finished with 12 points on 4-of-10 shooting from the floor, including 2-of-5 from long range.
He also dazzled with his passing ability as he was one of two players to finish with a game-high, five assists. Defensively, Ginobili shined as he was all over the floor and came up with five steals that Argentina would convert on.
It was also a first chance to see another San Antonio Spurs player in action, Patricio Garino. Garino came off the bench for Argentina and provided a spark as he finished with 15 points on 5-of-6 shooting from the floor and grabbing six rebounds in 25 minutes of playing time.
The No. 4 ranked team in the FIBA World Rankings showed no rust in their opening game in the tournament. Defensively they held Nigeria to under 20 points a quarter. Offensively they were locked in. They scorched the nets from long distance as they were 15-of-34 (44-percent) as a team. If quarter lengths were the same as NBA, they would of easily finished with 18.
They also shared the ball well as they assisted on 18 of their 33 made baskets. Ginobili was the main distributor on the team in getting the offense rolling and picking his spots. It was not much of a test for Argentina in their first game of these Olympics.
They will now turn their focus on what could possibly be their first real test in facing Croatia on Tuesday. This last run in the Olympics will be the last for Ginobili. As he has done over the years playing for Argentina, he will surely put everything he has on the line to help lead his team to their road to Olympic Gold.