Pau Gasol is building quite a resume. How many players will be able to boast of having won back-to-back NBA titles in addition to back-to-back European championships? Well, after Spain’s 98-85 victory over France yesterday that is exactly what Gasol has accomplished.
The Spaniard was instrumental in Spain prevailing as the champions of Europe for the second time running. Gasol’s double-double of 17 and 10 helped keep France at an arm’s length until Juan Carlos Narvarro and Sege Ibaka put their signatures on the contest.
Ibaka helped Spain gain a 10-point advantage in a stunning stretch in the second period in which the athletic forward swatted 5 shots in 5 minutes. France would get to within 6 of Spain in the third but that’s when Narvarro did as he’s been doing the entire tourney. He dropped a key three, part of his team best 27 that would eventually spark a run that put Tony Parker and his fellow Frenchmen to sleep.
After it was all said and done Spain emerged as the first repeat champions of Europe since the nation formerly known as Yugoslavia did so almost two decades ago.
For Gasol this makes for yet another entry into his Hall of Fame hoops career. Hopefully it also lessens some of the pain suffered in the NBA playoffs this past season. Pau would be wise to hold onto the feeling for as long as possible. There’s no telling when or if we’ll have NBA basketball in the coming year.
But let’s not think of that. For now let’s just enjoy Gasol and his fellow countrymen being honored as champions!