Hernandez says absent Argentine stars still in Olympic mix

Sep 3, 2007 - 3:32 PM By Matias Greco Special to PA SportsTicker

LAS VEGAS (Ticker) -- Argentina coach Sergio Hernandez insists the stars who opted out of the FIBA Americas Championship will still be considered for the Olympic Games.

However, the absentees may have their work cut out to get back into the line-up after some impressive displays by their understudies in Las Vegas.

Argentina clinched the Olympic berth by reaching the final of the FIBA competition - where they lost 118-81 to USA on Sunday night - despite being unable to field a number of key players.

Manu Ginobili, Fabricio Oberto, Walter Herrmann, Pepe Sanchez and Ruben Wolkowyski all preferred to rest, while Andres Nocioni was injured.

But Hernandez claims the sextet will be in contention to make the 12-man side for China next year.

"Today, all Argentinian players have a possibility of being named," Hernandez told the Clarin newspaper. "The ones who are in their best form and the ones I think I will need will be in Beijing.

"This is not a matter of awards and punishments because I cannot think about punishing the players who did not came to this championship, as they already gave us an Olympic gold medal and a second place in the World Championships."

Hernandez added that the men he took to Las Vegas, such as Paolo Quinteros, Roman Gonzalez, Antonio Porta, Federico Kammerichs and Carlos Matias Sandes, have improved their chances of being selected for Beijing.

"Having already played international championships in good form allows you to play another one," Hernandez said. "We came here with three stars - (Pablo) Prigioni, (Carlos) Delfino and (Luis) Scola, but the rest accompanied them brilliantly. That's why we are in Beijing."

No one has shouted yet.
Be the first!