Saez Sticks By Pesquera


Spain coach Mario Pesquera has been given the full backing of Spanish Basketball Federation president Jose Luis Saez.

Although he succeeded in his primary aim of taking Spain to next year's FIBA World  Championship in Japan, Pesquera was unable to emulate his immediate predecessors and come home from the recent EuroBasket with a medal.

Spain have claimed two bronze and one silver medal from the last three European Championships, but defeat to France in the play-off for third and fourth place this time saw them come home empty-handed.

For Saez, however, there is no question that Pesquera has done all that was asked of him.

"There is no need for us to make a drama out of this and there is no way we are going to convert the fact that we are going to the World Championship into a failure," he said.

Saez admitted he was annoyed at seeing Spain miss out on a medal, but insisted it would not cloud his judgement.

"We have all been left with a bad sensation because we started very well (in beating hosts Serbia & Montenegro) and we finished badly.

"Now we have to look at this in depth to see the reasons for that," he said.

"He (Pesquera) is the coach, and we have not thought about the possibility that he should stop being the coach.

"There is no debate about his continuity," said Saez.

Pesquera received further good news when Pau Gasol confirmed he would be back for his country in Japan if all goes well.

Gasol was in Belgrade working with Spanish television as he rested a troublesome foot injury, but says it is not an experience he wants to repeat while he is a player.

"I have suffered watching the team when they were not playing their best and it made me feel bad," said Gasol.

"In principal, if there is nothing serious then I will be in Japan, I don't want to repeat the experience of this year," he said.

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