Gasol Not Concerned By Personal Success

10 September 2003

By Paul Giblin, PA International

ESP_YUG_12
Pau Gasol
Pau Gasol is setting the European Championships on fire for Spain but he insists his own performances are worth nothing if his team returns home from Sweden empty handed.

The former Barcelona forward, who has enjoyed two successful seasons with the Memphis Grizzlies was tipped to be his country’s figurehead in these Championships and so far, he hasn’t disappointed.

Gasol scored 80 points (including 35 against Russia) and hauled down a total of 21 rebounds as Spain swept past hosts Sweden, Russia and Serbia & Montenegro to secure a place against Israel in the quarter-finals.

Gasol, on the receiving end of a hard foul at the end of the game which led to a fracas and three players being ejected from each side, knows that his country's hopes rest largely on his broad shoulders.

"We are in the quarter finals, we have a strong team and we don't care who we are playing," he said.

"It's normal for people to ask if we'll win, but I don't want to talk about medals unitl we get past the quarter-finals."

"I'm happy with what we've done at the moment, but that will be worth nothing if we lose now."

I don't want to talk about medals until we get past the quarter-finals
Pau Gasol
One of the reasons why Gasol is so popular among his country's fans, and his team-mates, is that he often deflects praise to others.

"I don't care whether I'm the top scorer or not, all I'm worried about is winning," he insisted in Diario AS, insisting he was not trying to hide from the limelight.

"It is not modesty, no one player wins games on his own, I need (Juan Carlos) Navarro, Calderon and all of them and my statistics are only worthwhile if the team wins.

"If we don't win than I can't be happy."


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