Pau Gasol was in pain just before the start of the game against Poland and he had to run to the locker rooms in order to get medical treatment. However, this was the start of an amazing story. As Spanish coach Sergio Scariolo revealed in the press conference: “The doctors told me that Pau couldn’t play more than five minutes straight. But after the first five minutes, when I asked him to come to bench he told me now. “I will take the risk”, he answered me and he had an amazing game”. Spain’s leader led his team to the quarter-finals with an extraordinary performance, having 30 points on 6/7 from the three-point range. And while Rudy Fernandez is day to day and may miss the next big game versus Greece in the quarterfinals, Gasol is ready to play: “I never jumped off the boat and I will not do that now. We play against Greece, I will play for sure”.
Mark Woods: Gortat told me before the game he thinks Pau Gasol is the “Greatest European centre ever” – relishing challenge of that match-up.
David ‘Dubi’ Pick: Lithuania, Espana, Poland, Turks & more NTs ramping up complaints to FIBA about poor hotel conditions in Lille. Poland & Lithuania stressed that delivered cuisine isn’t fit for Marcin Gortat, Jonas Valanciunas – NBA stars. Espana, Finland, Turks, others called for field trips for dinner. Opted against hotel menus.
President Gortat, anyone? “Give me five, six years more in the NBA, then I will arrive back with a game plan for Poland,” he said. “I would definitely start doing more charity work. I would start raising money for people who really need it. I would visit more organizations, foundations, more places where just the presence of the president would change a lot of different things. I would definitely be open with the people, meet with the people, create a system where, if you have a question, your question is going to be answered.”