Ginobili has offer from his former club in Italy

By Mike Monroe

MAR DEL PLATA, Argentina — Manu Ginobili’s agent, Herb Rudoy, on Thursday confirmed an offer made to Ginobili to rejoin the Virtus Bologna team in the Italian League, but said no response has yet been made to the offer.

Ginobili’s brother Leandro, working as a television analyst at the FIBA Americas tournament, also confirmed the offer for Manu to play again in Italy if the NBA lockout continues.

“I don’t think Manu is thinking he will go play in Italy for two months before returning to the Spurs,” said Manu’s 41-year-old brother.

Leandro Ginobili said his brother is completely focused on the final two days of the tournament and has made no response whatsoever to the offer from Virtus Bologna, first reported by the Italian sports publication Gazzetta Dello Sport.

Ginobili played in Bologna in 2001, leading the club, then Kinder Bologna, to the European Final Four and being named MVP of the tournament.

Ginobili is under contract to the Spurs for two more seasons, scheduled to make $14.2 million next season if the lockout were to allow a full season.

FIBA Americas

Ginobili had 17 points and five assists as Argentina scored a 84-58 victory over the Dominican Republic on the final day of the second phase of the tournament.

“I am not used to playing back-to-back-to-back-to-back,” said Ginobili. “I was exhausted and had no legs at all.”

Up by nine entering the fourth period, Argentina’s Carlos Delfino scored eight unanswered points in the first 1:40 of the period to give his team some breathing space.

Brazil’s 94-72 victory over Puerto Rico on Thursday earned top seed in the semifinals, meaning it will face the Dominicans. Argentina will play Puerto Rico. Spurs center Tiago Splitter scored 17 points in three quarters of an easy victory, and sat the fourth period.

The winners of Saturday’s games will be assured berths in the 2012 Olympics in London, regardless of the outcome of Sunday’s championship game.

Canada’s quest for an Olympic berth ended Thursday with an 91-89 loss to Panama. Spurs draftee Cory Joseph scored four points.

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