With Spain set to face France in today’s gold medal game of the EuroBasket tournament, Willy Hernangomez is confident that his team has already exceeded expectations, writes John Rammas of Eurohoops. The Spanish squad had to overcome a double-digit deficit to rally past Germany in Friday’s semifinal round.
“It is a game which you have to enjoy. We don’t have any pressure, I think the job is already done,” Hernangomez said. “Still, we have one more step left. That ambition that we have, that characterizes us, is going to come out. We are going to give everything once more, we are going to leave everything on the floor and enjoy a final. I think it’s an incredible, unique opportunity, so we will fight for gold.”
The Pelicans’ center has been Spain’s leading scorer and rebounder in the tournament, averaging 17.6 points and 6.8 boards in eight games. He’s looking forward to the matchup with French center Rudy Gobert.
“He is a very tough player,” Hernangomez said. “The best defender in the NBA, but if you want to be one of the best centers you have to face them and accept those challenges. Let’s go for it.”
There’s more international news to pass along:
- Aron Baynes had 14 points and six rebounds while playing more than 13 minutes in his first game with Brisbane in Australia’s National Basketball League, tweets Olgun Uluc of ESPN. The 35-year-old center, who is returning after spinal cord surgery, was on a minutes restriction in the preseason contest. Baynes already looks like the best rim protector in the NBL, Uluc adds.
- Appearing on a Eurohoops podcast, former Raptors guard Jordan Loyd disputes Duncan Robinson‘s contention that the G League is the second-best basketball league in the world. “Maybe he’s trying to say that there’s some crazy talented guys in the G League that can really score the ball,” said Loyd, who recently signed with Monaco in the EuroLeague, “but as far as saying the league as a whole is the most talented league, I don’t agree with that.”
- Former center Bucks and Timberwolves center Miroslav Raduljica had an unusual reason for turning down an opportunity with Crvena Zvezda in the EuroLeague, according to Ennio Terrasi Borghesan of Sportando. Raduljica opted to work as a driver for the Serbian rock band YU Grupa during its tour of the United States.