Calderon Expects Spain To Be Ready
Spain point guard Jose Manuel Calderon expects his countrymen to be firing on all cylinders when they go up against France in their EuroBasket Quarter-Final.
The Spanish will play the game in Katowice just 24 hours after their clash with Poland in Lodz, a game Sergio Scariolo's team won 90-68.
Calderon had to undergo hand surgery after his season with the Toronto Raptors and but the reason he decided not to play for Spain was a thigh injury that he feared may become chronic.
He said to FIBA Europe: "It's going to be tough for Spain because they have had to drive for three or four hours to get to the hotel in Katowice and won't get to sleep right away.
"But when you have a game like the Quarter-Finals, everyone is going to forget how tough it was and be ready to play."
Spain have had a difficult tournament, falling 66-57 to Serbia in Group C and then losing a 63-60 nail-biter to Turkey in Group F.
"I think every game has been a little bit better for Spain," Calderon said.
"During the preparations, Pau Gasol had the finger injury, Alex Mumbru was hurt and Rudy Fernandez was injured. That kept people out of pre-EuroBasket games. They had to get used to playing together and with a new coach."
As for Scariolo, Calderon said: "No, it's not been a tough adjustment for players. When you are a coach, you have to adapt your ways to your players.
When asked if he thought Pau Gasol and Juan Carlos Navarro would play next year, he said: "I don't know. We do have something to prove this year. Spain hasn't won the gold medal in Europe. But every year, it's something important. Next year, it's the World Championship and we will want to do something there."
Will he play next year if Spain reach the FIBA World Championship.
"If I can come back and play next year, that would be great because more important than anything for a player is that he is healthy," he said. "This year I wasn't."