The Gasol Brothers didn’t have their best game during the EuroBasket 2011 tournament but the 20 combined points between Pau and Marc were more than enough to manhandle a depleted French squad. The Spaniards rolled into the quarterfinals with a 96-69 win that was blown open thanks to a 27-4 run in the third quarter.
While it was nothing like Pau’s 26-point domination of Serbia, the Lakers All-Star has certainly done his part to put his country in position to play in the 2012 Olympics.
Of little consolation, yet none the less noteworthy, Dirk Nowitzki and Germany were officially eliminated from Olympic contention after an 84-75 loss to hosts Lithuania. Dirk was dreadful going 4-of-17 from the field. Where was that kind of non-effort against the Lake Show?
While France chose to rest likes of Tony Parker and Joakim Noah, Spain played most of their dynamic squad.
Spain joins Greece, Russia, Macedonia, Lithuania, France and Serbia in the quarterfinals. Finland and Slovenia will faceoff for the final spot.
Pau’s time to shine is coming. With his country poised to emerge as the best in Europe now is the moment Gasol has been waiting for. He insisted on playing for his country this summer in what has got to be more than just a move motivated by national pride. Yes, getting a spot in London in important but getting the taste of defeat out of his mouth has got to be equally paramount to Pau.