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Basketball - 03. May 2007.

ARG Pintos preparations underway for Chile

BUENOS AIRES (FIBA Americas Championship for Women) - Argentina coach Eduardo Pinto is clear what his side's principal objective will be at this year's FIBA Americas Championship for Women: to qualify for the Olympics.

Pinto takes his side to Chile from September 26-30 knowing only victory will see them qualify automatically for the Beijing Games in 2008.

But with the teams finishing in second, third and fourth also getting the chance to make it to China via another qualifying event against sides from around the world, Pinto knows his ladies have a fighting chance.

He said: "It will be a very tough championship.

"We want to be in the semi-finals and advance to the world tournament that hands five berths to the Olympic Games."

Argentina's preparation is ongoing with Pinto calling up 12 players to a training camp from May 5.

The majority of the squad will be able to participate although several players are still with their club sides in Europe.

Pinto added: "We will have Carolina Sanchez with us but Laura Nicolini, Alejandra Chesta and Valentina Maggi are still in Europe.

"I also want Natalia Rios with us when she gets over her knee surgery while Cecilia Lineyra and Gisela Vega are on holiday here in Argentina (and therefore ruled out)."

Argentina will also play the Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro from July 20 to 29.

The Argentina training party is: Marina Cava, Melisa Cejas, Alejandra Fernandez, Marcela Paoletta, Paula Gatti, Celeste Lineira, Sandra Pavon, Carolina Sanchez, Veronica Soberon, Anastasia Saenz, Florencia Fernandez, Celeste Cabanez.

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