Pau Gasol’s chase for a Gold medal in the Olympics has come to an end after a 82-76 loss to Team USA on Friday.
Gasol did not feel any ill effects from a calf injury that was reportedly going to sideline him against Team USA. Despite the sore calf, Gasol played 28 minutes and was 9-of-19 from the floor. To go along with his scoring output-which was a game high, he also grabbed eight rebounds in the loss.
In a re-match of the Gold Medal Games at the last two Olympics, the Americans never trailed but Gasol and Spain stayed within striking distance for much of the game. Down the stretch it was too much DeAndre Jordan and Team USA that would put the game out of reach for the Spaniards.
Jordan finished with nine points, 16 rebounds and four blocks. He and the rest of Team USA were dominate in controlling the boards. USA held a 53-41 rebounding edge on Spain-21 of those came on the offensive end.
Tip your hat off to Gasol and Spain. Before the Olympics began, Gasol stated that he did not feel he was in basketball shape.
“I hope this game helps me to continue to improve and be ready for the Games. My challenge is to help the team win and finish as high as possible. It is my challenge in every championship to do it right, lead the team as best as I can and reach the top positions”.
He has proven during these games that he worked his tail off to get prepared and physically ready for the games and he did not disappoint. Once he is in San Antonio, better believe that he will be ready once training camp begins.
“Throughout my career in the NBA, my desire has always been to be an instrumental part of a team with a chance of winning the championship. That’s really important for me,” Gasol wrote. “Winning on the court takes precedence over anything else, and obviously this continues to be the case with my decision to join the Spurs. I am incredibly grateful for this tremendous opportunity and I will do my very best to contribute my experience and work ethic to help this extraordinary franchise achieve its goal.
Gasol though still has a chance to medal as he and Spain will face Australia on Sunday in the Bronze medal game. No matter what happens in the final game between Spain or Australia, one thing is certain, a Spurs player will be coming home with a medal whether it is Gasol or Patty Mills of Australia.