Home National Teams EuroBasket 2009 Royal reception for the Golden Boys

Royal reception for the Golden Boys

King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia of Spain, and Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero greeted the country's national team following its EuroBasket triumph in Katowice.

The gold-medal winners overcame a difficult start to the 2009 event in Poland and won five straight games by an average of 19 points.

They defeated a young but excellent Serbia team in the Final on Sunday night, 85-63.
Team Spain at Palacio de la Moncloa, celebrating their gold medal

"I followed the games and you have played in an impressive manner," said Zapatero at the Palacio de la Moncloa where Spain's players and delegation, including FEB president Jose Luis Saez, gathered.

"Basketball gives you joy although on this occasion, there have been plenty of thrills from the Preliminary Round."

Zapatero paid a special tribute to Pau Gasol, who was voted Most Valuable Player of the EuroBasket.

Gasol, who won his first-ever NBA title as a power forward with the Los Angeles Lakers in June, had also been named MVP of the 2006 FIBA World Championship.

He suffered a finger injury during the preparations and missed all of the friendly games but recovered in time to lead Spain.

"I thank Pau Gasol's commitment to the national team," Zapatero said.

"It is exemplary. Pau, you don't know how much you contribute positively to the national team.

"We now hope that the good run continues at the Olympic Games in London but before that, we have the FIBA World Championship in Turkey, although we cannot ask you for more."

After meeting with the Prime Minister, Spain went to celebrate at the Cibeles fountain in Madrid where 5,000 fans were waiting for Los Chicos de Oro.

by www.fibaeurope.com

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