Argentina’s Pablo Prigioni says that neither Argentina or Brazil have the upper hand on each other when the two rivals meet on Sunday in their Round of 16 clash in Madrid.
Both teams faced each other in Round of 16 four years ago in Istanbul, which ended in a narrow 93-89 win for the Argentinians, but the New York Knicks guard, who led the 2010 world championship in assists with 6.4 per contest says that form means nothing in a game of this magnitude.
“We know each other a lot,” says Prigioni. “There is no place for surprises for both sides. I think that inspiration from some of the players can decide a game in the crucial time. They play defence and try to run, they attack the rebounds and they are the stronger points of Brazil.
“We have to try to match that, but we know each other a lot so it’s going to be interesting.”
Despite a disappointing effort in the FIBA Americas last summer, Brazil were saved by the FIBA Wildcard, now the last of its kind. And have re-paid FIBA’s invite with a solid showing in Group A; regarded by many as the group of death. They finished second with a 4-1 record, losing only to an in-form Spain and are keen to right the wrongs from 2010.
But, that game isn’t entering their minds.
“It isn’t something we’re thinking of,” said Brazilian guard Marcelinho Huertas, one of the nine survivors of the 2010 team.
“A lot of us were playing in that game and since then we have matured in the way we play and become much wiser but we are not thinking about that as tomorrow is another game.”