Spanish NBA Players Declare Their Intentions Of Playing In FIBA EuroBasket
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MADRID, SPAIN – SEPTEMBER 21: Pau Gasol (2ndR) and Felipe Reyes (2ndL) celebrate after winning the EuroBasket 2015 final at Callao square on September 21, 2015 in Madrid, Spain. Spain beat Lithuania 80-63 in the final in Lille, France. (Photo : Denis Doyle/Getty Images)
FIBA EuroBasket is just few months away and Spain coach Sergio Scariolo has yet to release the roster for the upcoming tournament. Kudos to the quality of players that they have, a good problem just emerged as Spanish players in the NBA expressed their willingness to be part of the line-up that will compete at the said competition.
According to the reports from FIBA, the Italian coach revealed that both Serge Ibaka of the Toronto Raprots and Chicago Bulls’ Nikola Mirotic already informed him about their availability. However, the situation of the two isn’t just a walk in the park as both were naturalized Spaniards and the ruling of FIBA only allows one naturalized player per team.
The Congolese-born Ibaka, who was recently involved in an in-game punching incident with Chicago Bulls’ Robin Lopez, was part of the team’s roster that played in the 2011 edition of FIBA EuroBasket and the 2012 Olympics in London. Mirotic, who was born in Montenegro, joined the team during their run at the 2014 FIBA World Cup in Madrid and EuroBasket the following year. “Each has his own circumstances and own situation, but the availability of all is very good,” the 55-year old Scariolo said.
EuroBasket 2015 MVP Pau Gasol also signified his desires of playing at this year’s edition of EuroBasket and Scariolo is thrilled to hear it from the San Antonio Spurs’ big man. “Pau has also told me he’s coming,” revealed Scariolo. The 36-year old Gasol continues to provide stellar performance with Gregg Popovich-led squad, averaging 12.1 points, 7.7 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.1 blocks per game based on ESPN stats. Pau’s younger brother, Marc, is also available to play after missing 2-years of duty with the national team. With numbers of 19.9 points, 6.3 points, 4.6 assists and 1.3 blocks, the 32-year old Gasol is surely a hard option to ignore.
Spain, currently ranked 2nd in the world behind USA, was drawn in Group C together with Czech Republic, Croatia, Montenegro, Romania and Hungary.
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