Veteran Pau Gasol makes Spanish pre-Olympics list

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Pau Gasol Spain

FC Barcelona’s Pau Gasol celebrates during the Basketball Euroleague Final Four championship final match between FC Barcelona and Anadolu Efes Istanbul in Cologne, western Germany, on May 30, 2021. (Photo by Ina Fassbender / AFP)

Double silver medalist basketball veteran Pau Gasol has made Spain’s pre-list for the Olympics in Tokyo, the Spanish federation announced Saturday, giving the 40-year-old a fresh tilt at glory.

The pivot is named in the 18 who will be targeting a medal in Japan after Sergio Scariolo’s ‘Roja’ squad is whittled down to 12.

Though in the twilight of his career Pasol, who turns 41 on July 6, won the Spanish league crown with Barcelona in midweek after almost two seasons spent on the sidelines with an ankle injury which put an end to his hopes of prolonging a long NBA adventure which notably saw him win two titles with the Los Angeles Lakers.

He now hopes to feature in his fourth Olympics after silver medals in Beijing in 2008 and London in 2012 and a bronze at Rio in 2016.

“We have all been able to see how he made a great effort to be useful to his club and bring something to the table and he became an increasingly important player,” said Scariolo explaining his decision to take Gasol in his 18, a list which includes brother Marc Gasol.

After the squad meets up on June 25 in Madrid the Spaniards will finalize preparations with a July 18 meeting in Las Vegas against the United States from where they will fly out to Japan for an opening match against the hosts on July 26.

Spanish Olympic preselection:

Point guards: Ricky Rubio, Carlos Alocen, Sergio Rodriguez.

Shooting guards: Alex Abrines, Dario Brizuela, Sergio Llull.

Small forwards: Alberto Abalde, Sergi Martinez, Rudy Fernandez, Xabi Lopez-Arostegui.

Power forwards: Victor Claver, Pierre Oriola, Juancho Hernangomez, Sebas Saiz.

Centers: Pau Gasol, Marc Gasol, Usman Garuba, Willy Hernangomez.

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