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October 25, 2014

Basketball — World Cup

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Argentina looks to the future in Spain

Argentina’s Andrés Nocioni (left) and Facundo Campazzo in a training session.
Looks for a new victory against the surprise of the tournament: Senegal

SEVILLE — Argentina’s national basketball national team will face Senegal today in a match for the fourth round of Group B at the FIBA World Cup in Spain.

The match will be held at 12.30pm (Argentine time) at the Palacio de los Deportes in Seville.

Both teams have a record of two victories and a defeat in the competition and Senegal has been outstanding in the competition so far as there were few expectation of it.

As had happened against the Philippines, the Argentine team coached by Julio Lamas will face a team that will give its all trying to get a surprising victory. The Senegalese side has two virtues: strength and very tall players. But it is also important to point out that it does not have much experience in this kind of competition.

The main threat for Argentina will be the Minnesota Timberwolves forward Gorgui Dieng, who so far has an average of 22 points and 11.7 rebounds. Lamas’ team will have to stay focused to stop this NBA’s player.

Senegal started its campaign with a defeat against Greece, which won the three first games and tops Group B, but then recovered with victories over Puerto Rico (82-75) and Croatia (77-75).

Taking these statistics into account, the free day came as perfect timing for Argentina, as it played three games in a row and needs to be fully fit to play against a side that has been living a fairy tale so far.

Argentina won its first game against Puerto Rico 98-75, then lost against Croatia 90-85 and defeated the Philippines 85-81 in the third round.

Argentina, Senegal and Croatia share second place in Group B with five points.

“Senegal became the surprise of the tournament. It came with the ambition of qualifying for the knock-out stage. They beat Puerto Rico and Croatia, showing that they are capable of doing it,” said Lamas yesterday.

The Argentine coach said his team needs to improve “in attack, because we need to control the ball and try not to throw so many three-point shots.”

Statistics show that Argentina also needs to improve in defence as it has conceded 82 points per match on average — a high number when the main goal is to get as far as possible in the World Cup.

“We need to improve in attack and defence. I think we can fight for any place in the tournament, but the team is not playing as I want to yet,” added Lamas.

Herald staff with agencies

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