Madrid, Sep 2 IANS | 28 days ago

Spanish basketball coach Juan Antonio Orenga said he was happy with his team's performance in the FIBA World Cup till date and was all praise for veteran Pau Gasol, who has been a star for the team so far.


The former L.A. Lakers star, who is now with the Chicago Bulls, has led the Spanish challenge from the start, netting 30 points as Spain opened their challenge with an easy win over Iran and he scored 26 points and claimed nine rebounds in just under 30 minutes on court Monday against Brazil, reports Xinhua.

The presence of Gasol and his brother Marc, as well as Serge Ibaka has made the Spanish team untouchable and Monday's 82-63 win over Brazil merely served to highlight Spain's dominance under the net both in attack and in defence.

"Physically he's (Gasol) in great shape, he's happy, relaxed and comfortable and he is playing where he thinks he's most effective. I think he's looking great and he's going to continue improving," said Orenga, who added that Gasol is also a threat with three point throws.

Spain rest Tuesday but return to action Wednesday against France, who are without their star player Tony Parker.

"They knocked us out of the last World Championship and that hurt us," remembered Orenga, who admitted things have changed since that disappointment in Turkey.

"France have some important players out while we have important players who were not there. We will need to concentrate, be sharp and get a good start," he warned.

"We have got players who are not at all selfish and you can see that in the play," said Gasol of his team's performances so far.

(Posted on 02-09-2014)

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