Spanish squad adding Ibaka

MADRID  – Spain have included African-born Serge Ibaka of the Oklahoma City Thunder in their preliminary squad for the EuroBasket but do not know if he will be available to play in Lithuania.

The 2.08m power forward, selected to the NBA All-Defensive Second Team, ranked third in the league with an average of 2.4 blocks last season.

However, it’s not known if Ibaka’s paperwork to become a naturalised Spaniard will be approved in time for him to represent the country at the EuroBasket.

“We still don’t know if Ibaka will be able to be with us,” Spain coach Sergio Scariolo said.

“The FEB (Spanish Basketball Federation) has followed all of the necessary procedures and we are moderately optimistic.

“But we will have to wait and see.”

Another big development that had been confirmed weeks ago is Pau Gasol’s return to the squad.

The Los Angeles Lakers star, the MVP of the 2006 FIBA World Championship andEuroBasket 2009, took last summer off to rest.

ACB champions Barcelona are represented by their backcourt players Juan Carlos NavarroRicky Rubio and Victor Sada.

Navarro’s 171 appearances with the national team are the most among those included.

Rubio, who has decided to launch his NBA career next season with the Minnesota Timberwolves, has played for Spain the last three summers.

Gasol’s younger brother, Marc Gasol, is again in the group after helping the Memphis Grizzlies reach the playoffs and upset the top-seeded San Antonio Spurs in the first round.

Real Madrid’s Sergio LlullFelipe Reyes and Carlos Suarez are included, as are Power Electronics’ Rafa Martinez and Victor Claver.

Madrid came in second in the ACB and reached the Euroleague Final Four while Valencia were third and enjoyed a surprising run to the Euroleague quarter-finals.

The ACB’s Player of the Year Fernando San Emeterio of Caja Laboral and Gran Canaria’s Xavi Rey, who has never played for the senior team, are named.

Jose Calderon of Toronto and Rudy Fernandez of Portland are the other NBA players in the 15-man group.

Spain are in Group A of the EuroBasket with TurkeyLithuaniaGreat BritainPoland and one of the teams that comes out of the Additional Qualifying Round.

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Posted on June 24, 2011, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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