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Gasol generation brought down to Earth

16 November 2007

Madrid – Spanish recruits drafted overseas have held their own in basketball’s highest level competition: Pau Gasol won the NBA’s rookie of the year honors in 2002, and Jorge Garbajosa reached the NBA’s top five rookies last season.

That was not the case this week, as all five Spanish players with NBA credentials had unimpressive nights, resulting in across-the-board losses by their respective teams.

José Manuel Calderón played 16 minutes, scored six points, made no assists and committed three turnovers in his worst showing of the year, as his Toronto Raptors were beaten by the Utah Jazz 88-92.

Worse, however, was the fate of Jorge Garbajosa, also on the Raptors’ roster, who never made it on court – a decision exercised by coach Sam Mitchell, despite the fact that Slovenian forward Rasho Nesterovic hurt his ankle in the fourth quarter and Italian Andrea Bargnani had a horrible night.

Pau Gasol missed a three-point shot for the tie at the buzzer, and saw his Memphis Grizzlies go down 102-99 to the Milwaukee Bucks.

The display can be contrasted with Gasol’s five points in the final minute of the previous game, which pushed his side over the Houston Rockets. Also playing for Memphis, Juan Carlos Navarro played only six minutes and missed two free throws, his only points opportunities.

Sergio Rodríguez played 16 minutes when his Portland Trail Blazers fell to the Denver Nuggets 110-93 for the first time in five games. The guard missed four of five field goals.

[Copyright EL PAÍS, SL. 2007]

Subject: Spanish news