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Old 10-04-05, 05:07 PM
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Amid tight security, Spurs arrive in the Virgin Islands

http://www.virginislandsdailynews.co...rts?id=8950320
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Old 10-04-05, 05:09 PM
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ST. THOMAS - The San Antonio Spurs touched down Monday night at King Airport on a tarmac lined with police cruisers, which quickly whisked them away to The Ritz-Carlton hotel on the island's East End.

A police escort of nearly a dozen cruisers accompanied the two buses carrying the team from the airport through Charlotte Amalie - closing off intersections and ordering cars off the road. Police also were patrolling side roads and hillsides around the airport, keeping security tight around the NBA champions.

The scene at the Ritz-Carlton was similar as the players were led to their rooms under a heavy blanket of police and private security.

Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich said his main goal for the evening was settling in and setting the agenda for what he hopes will be a productive week of practice. "Tonight is organizational," he said. "We'll get the guys to their rooms and set the schedule for the week." He said training camp in the Virgin Islands will be nearly identical to training camp in San Antonio. "It's no big deal," he said of locating the camp here in the territory. "It's the same game here. The gym here is the same as the gym at home." Popovich said holding camp here would give St. Croix native Tim Duncan the chance to visit with friends and family. "It's sort of a reward for him," he said. "It's great for him. He's really been looking forward to coming home." He said the Virgin Islands also would help the team avoid any distractions of home. "We wanted to get out of Dodge for a while and get home to Timmy's place," he said. "And we found out the university had a great gym that hosted a major Division I tournament and they were nice enough to invite us down." Popovich said practice will start today at noon and the team will quickly progress to twice-a-day practices by Wednesday. He said he is looking forward to incorporating Nick Van Exel, Michael Finley and Fabricio Oberto, all key offseason acquisitions. The Spurs will be practicing all week at the University of the Virgin Islands Sports and Fitness Center in closed sessions. Their week will culminate in a Friday night scrimmage at 8 p.m. that is open to the public. Tickets for the scrimmage have been sold out and a charter boat from St. Croix will bring about 500 people from Duncan's native island for the scrimmage. The boat was paid for by the Tim Duncan Foundation. - Contact Patrick Joy at 774-8772 ext. 458 or e-mail [email protected].

ST. THOMAS - The San Antonio Spurs touched down Monday night at King Airport on a tarmac lined with police cruisers, which quickly whisked them away to The Ritz-Carlton hotel on the island's East End.

A police escort of nearly a dozen cruisers accompanied the two buses carrying the team from the airport through Charlotte Amalie - closing off intersections and ordering cars off the road. Police also were patrolling side roads and hillsides around the airport, keeping security tight around the NBA champions.

The scene at the Ritz-Carlton was similar as the players were led to their rooms under a heavy blanket of police and private security.

Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich said his main goal for the evening was settling in and setting the agenda for what he hopes will be a productive week of practice.

"Tonight is organizational," he said. "We'll get the guys to their rooms and set the schedule for the week."

He said training camp in the Virgin Islands will be nearly identical to training camp in San Antonio.

"It's no big deal," he said of locating the camp here in the territory. "It's the same game here. The gym here is the same as the gym at home."

Popovich said holding camp here would give St. Croix native Tim Duncan the chance to visit with friends and family.

"It's sort of a reward for him," he said. "It's great for him. He's really been looking forward to coming home."

He said the Virgin Islands also would help the team avoid any distractions of home.

"We wanted to get out of Dodge for a while and get home to Timmy's place," he said. "And we found out the university had a great gym that hosted a major Division I tournament and they were nice enough to invite us down."

Popovich said practice will start today at noon and the team will quickly progress to twice-a-day practices by Wednesday. He said he is looking forward to incorporating Nick Van Exel, Michael Finley and Fabricio Oberto, all key offseason acquisitions.

The Spurs will be practicing all week at the University of the Virgin Islands Sports and Fitness Center in closed sessions. Their week will culminate in a Friday night scrimmage at 8 p.m. that is open to the public.

Tickets for the scrimmage have been sold out and a charter boat from St. Croix will bring about 500 people from Duncan's native island for the scrimmage. The boat was paid for by the Tim Duncan Foundation.
__________________
"We would have two less championships here if it wasn't for Manu Ginobili," Popovich said. "In my book, Manu Ginobili is the stud of the world.
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