20 - 26
May 2016
Ornella Santana (ARG)
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Argentina go for glory at South American Women's Championship

BUENOS AIRES (2016 South American Women's Championship/2016 FIBA Women's Olympic Qualifying Tournament) - Argentina head coach Cristian Santander has taken 12 players to Barquisimeto, Venezuela, to compete at the 2016 South American Women's Championship.

Las Gigantes, who haven't won the event since 1948, will be looking to take important steps in their preparations for the FIBA Women's Olympic Qualifying Tournament (WOQT) to be played in Nantes, France, from 13-19 June.

Point guard Melissa Gretter, an All-Star Five selection at last year's FIBA Americas Women's Championship in Edmonton, Canada, leads the way for Argentina.

She is joined by Gisela Vega, Celia Fiorotto, Ornella Santana, Macarena Rosset and Sthefany Thomas.

The South American Championship tips off on Friday but Santander's side will not play their Group B opener until Saturday when they face Ecuador. Argentina will go up against Peru and Venezuela, respectively, the following two days.

Brazil, winners of the last 13 editions of the event dating back to 1986, are in Group A along with Uruguay, Chile, Colombia and Paraguay.

Argentina will not be in awe of Brazil should the two sides meet in the latter stages of the competition because they beat their rivals twice at last year's continental championship, including in the battle for third place.

At the WOQT, where five places or the Rio de Janeiro Games will be up for grabs, Argentina will play in Group B against Cameroon and Turkey. Should they finish in the top two, they would go up against France, Cuba or New Zealand with a spot in the Olympics at stake. If Argentina were to play in that game and lose, they would have to win two more contests at the WOQT to reach Rio.

Argentina 12-player roster for 2016 South American Women's Championship: Sandra Pavon, Melisa Gretter, Nadia Flores, Victoria Llorente, Macarena Rosset, Andrea Boquete, Sthefany Thomas, Celia Fiorotto, Ornella Santana, Diana Cabrera, Agostina Burani and Gisela Vega