After shining in its opening 2012 Olympics match against Lithuania, the Argentine men's basketball squad looked ragged here Tuesday in a 71-64 loss to France.
Guard Tony Parker led the French side with 17 points and five assists, while Nicolas Batum contributed 14 points and seven rebounds. Manu Ginobili put up 26 points for Argentina in a losing effort.
The game pitted Ginobili against three of his teammates from the NBA San Antonio Spurs: Parker, Nando De Colo and Boris Diaw.
The Argentines were a horrible five for 18 in the first quarter and their shooting remained sub-par throughout a contest dominated by defense.
The South Americans came out stronger in the second half and managed to take a 43-42 lead midway through the third quarter, thanks to the efforts of Ginobili and Luis Scola.
Yet the French - trounced by the United States in the first game of the competition - were ahead again by the start of the final period and the scoreboard read 67-58 with three minutes left. Scola and Ginobili briefly narrowed the gap to five points, but it was not enough. EFE