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Full Version: Gasol: 'Spain must win medal'
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Quote:The Gasol-led Spaniards were undefeated and looking like gold medal contenders at the Athens Olympics but the United States upset them 102-94 in the quarter-finals. Last year in Belgrade, Spain, playing without Gasol, made it to the final four but again failed to win a medal.

"Not to reach the semi-final stages, and not to fight for a medal and conquer a medal at the World Championship in Japan will be a disappointment," said Gasol on the Spanish Basketball Federation website,

"We have a chance. International basketball has grown and has equalled the level in the United States, although it (Team USA) is still the national team to beat.

"The World Championship is going to be very competitive and we will see what options we have. It's clear we have talented players and I am really looking forward to see how far we can go."

Gasol will come up against Germany's Dirk Nowitzki in Hiroshima when the two sides meet in Group B. Nowitzki, the most valuable player at the EuroBasket after leading his country to a silver medal, recently got the better of Gasol when the Dallas Mavericks beat Gasol's Memphis Grizzlies in the NBA play-offs.

"It wouldn't have mattered even if Memphis would have beaten Dallas in the play-offs, I don't consider it a special duel," Gasol said.

"Notwitzki will play for Germany, which is not the same thank playing for Dallas and I will play for the national team, with one thought in my mind, to win and go as far as possible in the competition."

Gasol, who heard some criticism after Memphis' play-off exit, admits he may not play for the Grizzlies forever.

"Even if I wanted to leave Memphis, the truth is that the team has the last word and that wouldn't guarantee me a better situation," he said.

"It's true that I wish that my future doesn't come to a standstill and that I am not going to be always young. I would like to have options to play for the championship ring."

He's optimistic. I mean Spain is capable of winning a medal but they rely to much on one player which is Gasol. Eurobasket 2003 final just showed that. Still one of the strongest teams in FIBA WC.
I think Spain have a good chance because of Gasol's reputation. Many people will think he is the one and only star, but it is far from being true. Mark Gasol hard and Navarro, Garbajosa, Calderon and Felipe Reyes will make a nice job. We can come back with a medal. We should top or group and so have a non-too-hard game in the last 16. Then, once in the last 8, anything can happen.

Spain, USA, Greece, Lithuania, Serbia, Argentina... Any of them are worth a medal