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El Chapu, Splitter back in action

Argentina‘s Andres Nocioni had a losing debut for Peñarol over the weekend while Brazil‘s Tiago Splitter excelled in his first game for Valencia Basket.

The two players, tired of practicing and not playing games during the NBA lockout – a labor dispute that has led to a cancellation of all games through at least mid-December – signed to play overseas last week.

Nocioni, now coached by his former Argentina national team boss Sergio Hernandez, endured an 83-52 setback to Olimpico LB on Friday night.

Coming off an ankle injury, ‘El Chapu’ played 16 minutes and had nine points.
The veteran forward made just one of five shots from the floor and seven of 13 at the free-throw line.
“It took me a while to get into rhythm,” he admitted.

Nocioni did grab six rebounds.

In his next game on Sunday against Atenas de Cordoba, however, Nocioni was a different player.
He poured in 24 points and corralled 16 boards in a 75-59 win for his club.

It’s worth noting that promising guard Facundo Campazzo – Nocioni’s 20-year-old teammate – had 22 points, nine rebounds, five assists and three steals in the win over Atenas.

Campazzo hails from Cordoba.

Double-Double Tiago

Splitter, a center, made his first appearance in Spain’s Liga Endesa with Valencia on Sunday and had 12 points and 10 rebounds in an 86-83 triumph at Murcia.

A former MVP of the league, Splitter has been a major talking point in the Mediterranean city the past several days.

The 26-year-old is to be unveiled to the Spanish media in Valencia on Monday.

Splitter was a rookie in the NBA last season with the San Antonio Spurs and will play at the Olympics for the very first time next year in London.

He averaged 8.6 points and 6.6 rebounds at this year’s FIBA Americas Championship in Mar del Plata, where Brazil reached the Final and ultimately fell to hosts Argentina in the title game.
Nocioni has been with three NBA teams, including the Philadelphia 76ers last season.
After winning Olympic gold with Argentina in 2004, he moved to the United States to play for Chicago.
He has also played for Sacramento.

Nocioni, a bronze-medal winner at the Beijing Games, and Splitter both competed at Baskonia in Vitoria, Spain, before leaving for the NBA.

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