Wednesday, August 02, 2006

International News: Gasol / Yao / Bogut / Manu

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As Team USA continues their preparations to regain dignity, Pau Gasol is looking forward to leading Spain at the up-coming World Championships in Japan. The 26 year-old seems to relish the responsibility of the role. I'm sure the Spaniards (like every other team) will be looking forward to the chance to knock the USA off once again.
The Spanish coach was pleased with Monday's win against Serbia & Montenegro, in which Darko Milicic put up 19 & 9 for the losing side in their first loss of the Summer.
Yao Ming has vowed to never again eat shark's fin soup -- the Chinese delicacy -- as he joins the fight for conservation of sharks. Interesting note from the Associated Press writer in this article, who reveals that Yao is now apparently 7'1" -- news that will alarm Houston Rockets fans.
Yao is confident that his foot will be healed in time for the World Championships. He looks forward to playing against what he refers to as "Dream Team Seven." The Stankovic Cup from 11-15 August will test Yao's bone which is "growing back well," according to the big man.
Andrew Bogut's Australian Boomers national team continues its preparations, with the weight of expectations lifted off their shoulders by coach Brian Goorjian. The coach has told the team, "everyone in the country thinks we're a pile." The team has been ravaged by injuries to key veterans and the news that star PF Matt Nielsen's insurance would be too expensive to cover his Lithuanian club contract.
Meanwhile, Bogut has been pleased with the added playing time and ability to shift to his preferred C position for the Bucks this coming NBA season after the trade of Jamaal Magloire to Portland.
The Argentinian team look strong to continue from their 2004 Athens Gold Medal performance with the news that Manu Ginobili and Andres Nocioni will be part of their W/C squad.

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