Spain: Gasol Tipping Brother to Make His Marc

21.07.2004

NBA star Pau Gasol is expecting big things from his younger brother Marc at the Under-20 European Championships.

Pau Gasol, whose steady play helped propel the Memphis Grizzlies into the play-offs for the first time in club history last season, is now with the Spain squad preparing for the Olympic Games.

But he and his team-mates have been keeping tabs on the country's younger sides that are taking part in European competition this summer

Will Marc be a late developer like his brother Pau?
Spain are among the favourites at the Under-20 Championships to be staged this month in the Czech city of Brno.

"Marc is a player who has a lot of potential," Pau Gasol said. "He has exceptional talent and a good physique for this game. He has all the ingredients to be a great player.

"I wish them the very best, the Under-20 team."

Marc Gasol is at the same point of his basketball life as his older brother Pau when his career took off.

Pau Gasol, now 24, made his ACB debut as an 18-year-old with Barcelona and then exploded onto the scene.

He was a part of the Spain team in 1999 that won FIBA's World Championship for Junior Men and soon after established himself as one of Spain's best players and was eventually drafted in the first round by the Grizzlies.

Marc Gasol also made his ACB debut last season as an 18-year-old and will look for a title with Spain.

"It's true that my confirmation came at the same time that my brother is going to start this year," Pau Gasol said. "For that reason, I think he's got a very interesting season ahead of him.

If he improves his physical condition and gains more confidence in his play, he can make it."

These are good times for Spanish basketball at international level.

Last summer, Spain won the silver medal at FIBA's Eurobasket and the women captured bronze to qualify for the Olympics.

Last weekend, Spain beat pre-tournament favourites Turkey to capture the title at the European Championships for Under-18s.

"I really enjoyed watching them," Pau Gasol said of the Under-18s.

"They have a future because there is a lot of talent in that team, and a maturity that is beyond what you would expect at that age although it's difficult to know how many of them will make it to the top level. I hope it's a lot."


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