Tuesday, October 19

Pau Gasol, on the official list of Spain for the Tokyo Olympics

  • The list of the Spanish team is made up of 18 players, but it must finally be reduced to 12

  • Sergi Martínez (Barça) and Aruba (Madrid) are the two great novelties of Scariolo, who has neither Mirotic nor Ibaka

Sergio Scariolo, the basketball coach, has already provided the first official list of 18 players who will attend the Tokyo Olympics. A list that will then be reduced, finally, to 12. It is included Pau Gasol, the Barça pivot, who, at 41, has achieved his dream of arriving in Japan. Also included is the return of Sergio Rodriguez, after his absence from the 2019 World Cup, and Alex Abrines, confident in being able to complete a great tournament.

The two great novelties are Sergi Martinez (Barça) and Usman Garuba (Madrid). Two young people who have completed an excellent season, with the possibility of even remaining on the final list of the 12 chosen. “It is a heterogeneous group. It is a list with two clear characteristics: the continuity of a historical group that is taking its last steps in the national team,” said Scariolo, “and a wide group of young or very young players to keep the spirit. competitive”.

Without Mirotic or Ibaka, but with Ricky Rubio

In addition, the absences of Mirotic me Ibaka for personal and physical reasons respectively in a relationship in which Pau Gasol will attend his fifth Olympic event after a great season finale with Barça winning the ACB League. There are eight world champions on Scariolo’s list, who has contributed for the return of Sergio Rodríguez and Abrines as well as opening the door for Martínez and Garuba.

Pau, who has not played with the national team since 2017, made his debut at the 2004 Athens Olympics, won the silver medal in Beijing-2008, London-2012 and bronze in Rio-2016.

This is how Gasol equals his great friend Juan Carlos Navarro, currently the general manager of the Barça basketball section. And thus fulfills the challenge that had been marked after two hard years of absence from the tracks due to a serious injury. Pau made his debut at the Athens Games (2004), won the silver medal in Beijing (2008) and London (2012), as well as the bronze medal in Rio de Janeiro (2016). And he has not played with the Spanish team since the Eurobasket in 2017.

“Ricky has had a difficult season and he has had to think about it until the end,” Scariolo said, justifying Ricky Rubio’s doubts. “I don’t think I was the one who convinced him. It has been to feel supported by everyone and calm. It has been to smell that climate in which he has always been comfortable,” said the Spanish coach.

“All the players will arrive with the complete guidelines,” Scariolo commented on the vaccination of the Spanish team. “I want to thank the Government and the COE for managing and complicity with the clubs that have allowed us to work with peace of mind,” he said. the technician.

The team will begin its concentration in Madrid this Friday, June 25, and will close its preparation tour on Sunday, July 18, against the United States in Las Vegas, from where it will definitely fly to Tokyo. And after almost a week of acclimatization in the Japanese capital, he will debut at the Olympics on Monday, July 26 against Japan. He will play, yes, five previous friendlies: two against Argentina, two against France and the aforementioned against the USA.

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And with the Gasoline (Pau and Marc) leading Spain. “We have all been able to see Pau’s great effort to be able to contribute and be useful in his club, being an increasingly important player. The type of use that his coach has made at Barça has shown us the way. It is not about having to a Pau like years ago, more than 30 minutes and making a difference. The use has to be quantitatively smarter to ensure that Pau does not take risks “, Scariolo commented.

Without losing sight of Garuba, one of the sensations of Spanish basketball. “Usman’s season is in front of everyone’s eyes,” Scariolo stressed. “His evolution has encouraged us to count on him for a few months now. Usman can fit in with our big men, offering alternatives of speed and agility when making defensive changes.”


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