Local, regional and national sports news
Spain’s purple patch in international basketball shows no sign of ending following the latest championship success.
Pau Gasol, part of Spain’s winning team, and MVP 04.10.2009
- The current world champions and Olympic silver medallists confirmed yet again they are the only serious rivals to the United States with a demolition of opponents in the recent European Championships in Poland.
After a stuttering start which saw them lose to Serbia and Turkey in the group stages, LA Lakers’ star Pau Gasol and his team-mates put paid to any doubts that they had lost their appetite by crushing France and Greece in the knock-out phase and then steamrollered Serbia in the most one-sided final ever.
Gasol was voted MVP of the tournament and fellow-NBA star Rudy Fernández joined him in the tournament’s Best Five side. The gold medal makes up for the disappointment of two years ago in Madrid when Gasol’s missed shot in the last second meant Spain had to settle for the silver behind Russia.
The success in Poland caps a historic year for Spanish basketball at all levels, with European championships won in almost every age category, male and female.
This article appears in the print edition 600 of Island Connections