|21 April 2010|
Croatia's Ante Tomic has been so effective at Real Madrid since joining the club three months ago that he's been shortlisted for the coveted ACB Revelation of the Year award.
After finding his feet in the early weeks, the 23-year-old center has become one of Madrid's biggest offensive threats.
In 11 ACB games, Tomic has averaged 11 points.
He was influential in the Euroleague as well, pouring in 22 points in Madrid's quarter-final Game 2 win over Barcelona and 23 in the Game 3 defeat.
"It's a great satisfaction and an honor," he said.
"I am very happy to be on this shortlist."
Tomic has been so prolific since his arrival from KK Zagreb that he's drawn comparisons in Spain to their national team star, EuroBasket 2009 MVP and FIBA Europe Player of the Year Pau Gasol.
Tomic said: "Pau Gasol? I don't like to be compared. I don't like that because he is a great player, probably the best in Europe. I only hope that one day they can compare me to him but not yet."
Jaycee Carroll of Gran Canaria 2014, CB Granada's Richard Hendrix, Brazilian Paulo Prestes of CB Murcia, Jose Simeon of Power Electronics Valencia and Fede Van Lacke of Blancos de Rueda Valladolid are also shortlisted.
Rozic Bides His Time
Marin Rozic has been a revelation of sorts himself the past few years, working his way into the Croatia national team set-up under former coach Jasmin Repesa and becoming one of the side's most dependable players.
For now, the Cibona Zagreb man has to sit and watch his teammates while he recovers from surgery on the Achilles Tendon he ruptured in mid-January.
Rozic has had to wear a protective boot.
"I'm extremely pleased with how the recovery is going," he said.
"Now we are about to finally take off boot. I can't wait to get rid of it. The leg muscles have atrophied, which is normal after such a long time.
"However, the worst has passed."
Rozic, the 27-year-old Cibona captain, says it's been frustrating having to sit on the bench during games instead of playing in them.
"The hardest thing is to watch games," he said.
"I've been so nervous that I thought I'd go crazy.
"I can't even describe how much I miss being on the court, going to training, playing the game."
It's too early to tell if Rozic will be able to try out for Croatia's national team that is going to compete at the FIBA World Championship.
In February, he was in the preliminary squad announced by new coach Josep Vrankovic.