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Argentina men's cagers supreme

August 29, 2004 03:07 IST

Argentina capped a golden day in their history on Saturday, beating Italy 84-69 to win the Olympic men's basketball title for the first time.

The South American country had not tasted Olympic victory of any sort since 1952. But earlier in the day Argentina won the soccer gold medal at the Athens Games.

Luis Scola was the leading player for Argentina, who beat three-times defending Olympic champions the United States on Friday. He scored 25 points and grabbed 11 rebounds.

Manu Ginobili fired in 13 points in the first half to help Argentina to a 12 point lead, but Italy closed the gap to two and eventually tied the score at 51-51 in the third quarter before Scola began dominating at both ends of the court.

Gianmarco Pozzecco and Matteo Soragna both had 12 points for Italy, who were looking to take their first ever gold in the sport to go along with a silver they won in 1980.

 It was Argentina's first basketball medal.

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