Thursday, August 14, 2008 “We had to win, that’s why we feel better now”

Translated from:

By Manu Ginobili

Beijing – They told me Kobe (Bryant) was in the stands, I didn’t see him but the guy should leave me alone man, I am getting tired! He should have been sleeping instead of coming to see us. Well jokes aside, I think against Australia we got a lot better in almost every aspect of the game. It was like a final for us, we had to win and now we feel alleviated.

Luis Scola and Fabricio Oberto were key on this game, they were the ones setting the tone from the beginning and we could play a clearer game because of that. We found more spaces than we did against Lithuania. It is very clear that this is another kind of rival, but they proposed a tough physical game and we had to hustle a lot. At certain moments, it got a little dirty out there, as we have a couple of “spicy” players that get into that kind of game (I bet he was referring to Noce lol), we had to talk in between us not to lose our composure and focus. I think that goes along with the experience. After that moment everything went our way, Delfino was great playing PG, I felt more comfortable than in the first game and dedicated myself to create plays for our bigs. At the end, yes, we ceded our intensity. It always happens when a team is winning by a big difference; the one that is behind keeps pushing for the loss not to be a blowout.

I also think that is one of the few times that we dominated the game the entire time, at least during this process. We moved the ball well, we didn’t get dispersed and we kept our intensity at a high peak. More so, we were a not so “short” team; there were several substitutes that gave us good minutes off the bench and that comes very handy so they start catching up with the kind of intensity needed for this rhythm of competition. We always try to give them the ball for them to get their game back and have confidence. They know they have to give their “all” in the 5, 6 minutes of playing time they get.

Croatia is a very tough rival. Tomorrow, advance to the second round will be in play. I haven’t seen anything about them yet, but I know they are shooting lights out from 3. I don’t believe they will keep such a high percentage (20 of 31) for the whole duration of the tournament, at the end things get normal. They don’t have that many shooting specialists, two or three of their players are. But, I repeat, I haven’t seen them yet but I do know how they play. The important thing is that it was a good win, that we are still in the race, that our hope is intact and that we came back to the Olympic village with another kind of mood, without

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