Aug 252010

76ers forward Andres Nocioni

August 25 Philadelphia Daily News

“The 76ers’ Andres Nocioni is likely to play for his native Argentina against Germany on Saturday in its opening game of the FIBA World Championships in Turkey.

We think.

The Sixers’ Andre Iguodala, as anticipated, will be part of the USA team that will open Saturday against Croatia.

Iguodala has been one of the key men on the USA squad, and is a likely starter. The U.S. has one “friendly” remaining, today against Greece in Athens.

Nocioni, a rugged 6-7 forward, did not play in his country’s final “friendly,” a 93-89 overtime victory over Turkey, earning the Argentines the Efes Pilsen World Cup. Nocioni has been coming back from a left ankle sprain suffered July 31. He played 13 minutes in an 89-82 victory over Lebanon, sitting out after the first 5 minutes of the third quarter.

“I came out as a precaution,” Nocioni told El Diario Ole de Argentina.

Sixers coach Doug Collins said he has spoken with Nocioni several times.

“He told me [last] Saturday that he was feeling much better, and that he hoped to be ready for the game against Germany,” Collins said. “He assured me that he wouldn’t do anything to hurt his ability to play for us this season. I’m counting on him to use good judgment.”

Argentina coach Sergio Hernandez was quoted as saying, “Let there be no more injuries. I look forward to [having] the 12[-man roster] available again.”

The USA finalized its roster yesterday when Celtics guard Rajon Rondo withdrew. Rondo had considered himself on the bubble for the final spot, but had fallen behind the Chicago Bulls’ Derrick Rose and the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Russell Westbrook.

USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo said Rondo mentioned “some family matters to attend to and some things to take care of before the NBA season.”

Of the USA players, only the Denver Nuggets’ Chauncey Billups, the Lakers’ Lamar Odom and the Dallas Mavericks’ Tyson Chandler have more NBA experience than Iguodala.”

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