SAITAMA (FIBA World Championship) - Despite not
playing in Spain's historic victory over Greece in the
final of the FIBA World Championship, Pau Gasol was
selected as the tournament's Most Valuable Player.
Gasol missed the final after suffering a broken bone
in his left foot during Spain's semi-final win over
Argentina on Friday.
The power forward/center, who was cheering Spain
from the sidelines in the final, averaged better than
21 points and nine rebounds as his team went
undefeated in Japan.
"I'm very happy about the honor," Gasol said. "I
tried to play as well as I could to help my team get
this far. It was unfortunate that I couldn't play in
the final because of my injury.
"But the job my team-mates did in this game was so
amazing. And I'm so proud of them."
One journalist from each of the 16 eight-finalist
nations selected the five-man squad.
Joining Gasol were his team-mate power forward Jorge
Garbajosa, who had 20 points in the final, Team USA's
small forward Carmelo Anthony, Argentina guard Manu
Ginobili and Greece playmaker Theo Papaloukas.
By Simon Wilkinson, FIBA