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Old 10-07-2012, 03:44 PM   #1
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Default Spurs defense passes first (preseason) test

At first, the sight of Montepaschi Siena players on the other bench was enough to elicit a flashback in Manu Ginobili.

For a moment — but only a moment — the Spurs guard was 22 again, back in Italy, facing off against one of his staunchest rivals.

It took Ginobili one glance at the unfamiliar names on the Siena roster to snap him back to present day AT&T Center.

“Nothing is the same,” said Ginobili, a three-time All-Star in the Italian Leagues from 1999 to 2002. “Not one player.”

By the end of the Spurs’ 106-77 walloping of Ginobili’s old nemesis, he might have been experiencing a different kind of flashback. To the Spurs’ defense, circa 2003.

In a preseason that has so far been unexpectedly tough for NBA playoff teams facing foreign foes, the Spurs held Siena to 29.6-percent shooting and forced 23 turnovers, good for 34 points.

-- San Antonio Express-News
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