by SA DAILY
Once the dust settled at the frantic Olympics hoops quarter-finals, Manu Ginobili was left in London as the last Spur standing. Flanked by longtime teammates Carlos Delfino, Andres Nocioni, and Luis Scola, Ginobili delivered a complete game, scoring 16 points, grabbing 8 rebounds, and dishing out 3 assists in a hard fought 82-77 victory over Tiago Splitter and Brazil. After a solid Olympics, Splitter underwhelmed against Argentina contributing only 6 points, 4 rebounds, and 4 assists for a team desperate for a spark not named Leandro Barbosa.
The Gasol brothers and Spain sent a trio of Spurs packing when Tony Parker, Boris Diaw, and Nando De Colo failed to lift Les Bleus to the next level in international competition. France succumbed to Spain in a sloppy 66-59 defeat marked by inconsistent play. Parker in particular never seemed to capture his rhythm at these games, but has already expressed interest in representing his homeland at the 2016 Olympics, which would be his last legitimate chance to medal.
Parker’s Spurs back-up, Patty Mills went down shooting against team USA, scoring 26 points in a losing effort. LeBron and company pounded Australia 119-86, with Mills serving as the lone highlight for an overmatched squad. Awaiting the Americans in the semi-finals is Argentina’s golden generation, led by Ginobili and desperate for Olympic gold. Manu and his countrymen faltered against the USA earlier in the tournament but remain determined to again shock the basketball world. With Ginobili in the mix anything is possible, but it’s tough to argue against the American squad’s superior athleticism and depth.