Luis Scola says Argentina’s FIBA World Cup win over Serbia was far from a miracle
Former NBA big man Luis Scola enjoyed a game for the ages, pacing his native Argentina in a 97-87 win over Serbia in the quarterfinals of the 2019 FIBA World Cup. Serbia was expected to notch a win, considering the amount of NBA talent on their roster and their recent prominence at the international stage, but Scola noted Argentina had just as much of a chance to win the game and won’t let talks of a “miracle” in China fly.
“It just bothers me that people just keep talking about a miracle, keep talking about a surprise, nobody believed,” said Scola. “I’ll tell you, there were 22 people that believed for the last two months that we were gonna be here. That’s all we need, just 22. This is far from a miracle, we are a good basketball team, we have played great basketball all week long. We deserved to be here, so I don’t accept questions about miracles.”
Argentina was one of two teams to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics along with the United States after sweeping their way through the group stage. They’re ranked fifth in the world by FIBA, only one spot below their rival Serbia.
To top if off, Argentina has had a longstanding history of shocking their opponents in the past, as they did with the Americans 15 years ago, mustering the gold medal in the 2004 Athens Olympics.
Argentina struggled for segments of the third quarter but put it away in the fourth quarter thanks to a two-pronged attack by Real Madrid star Facundo Campazzo and Scola. Even if the Albiceleste lacked the NBA star power, they looked plenty competent against a team with plenty of recognizable names.
If the United States get through France on Wednesday, a semifinal matchup between Team USA and Argentina would be in the books, once again setting the stage for a barnburner as they did 15 years ago.