Monday, 7 September 2009

Spain's star policy

Spain, the presumed Eurobasket favourites, look the class of the competition. And on arrival in Warsaw, they underlined their sense of superiority. In fact when it comes to Espana, anything less than five stars just doesn’t cut it.
That’s not a reference to their stellar line-up, which begins its conquest on Monday against Serbia, but instead to their accommodation needs. The allocated hotel for Group C is downtown, a clean, perfunctory place that is housing Great Britain, Slovenia and the Serbs.
But not the Spanish.
That’s because their advance party arrived, took one look at the facilities, and promptly decided it wasn’t grandiose enough for a team of the stature of the world champions. Hence, Pau Gasol and Co are now billeted – at the FEB’s expense – at a five-star deluxe hotel elsewhere in the city.
They have a point. The base for their three rivals teams lacks the kind of security that you’d expect at a major sporting championships. The public can come and go freely. There are coach-loads of tourists who can converse with (i.e. bother) the players. If this is the model the Polish hosts are perfecting for the 2012 European football championships, then it ain’t going to cut it for the privacy obsessed soccer squads.
It sums up Eurobasket. It’s so low key in Poland’s capital that you could have not the slightest inkling it is taking place. There are no welcome banners at the airport. No festival downtown, nor outdoor hopes proclaiming – as FIBA Europe decrees – that ‘We Are Basketball’. Only at the fairly shabby Torwar Arena is there any kind of presence. Last we checked, this wasn’t a hoops crazy country. So, you wonder, why aren’t they attempting to build interest and convert the unconverted?
One star for effort there.


  1. maybe the fact that 7 feet tall guys had to sleep in 6 feet bed had something to be in Spain changing hotels, you know.

  2. if this is true, blame on the spaniard side. they'd check the facilities before.
    it's easy: no 7footer' beds? goodbye!

  3. According to Mark, those championships are so low key in Poland, so obviously it must not be hoops crazy country. Well, and it says the person from the country who cannot put together one good league basketball team to play in Europe on regular basis. And who has just qualified for European Championships for the first time from ages. But, Polish of course are not so perfect as English are. Having said that, I went to O2 arena in London, 3 weeks ago for one of pre-championship tournaments, to wath GB Team, Poland, Turkey and Israel. I only managed to get tickets, cause I found the info on Polish web. In London - nothing at all. All show poorly organised, with very poor catering provision for fans and apart of Poles and Turks, very few English fans - which obviously are much more hoop'd up. The main attraction was a chance to win box of doughnuts. Extraordinary Mark, do you think???!!!

  4. C'mon Mark, now you're just being silly.
    Every Eurobasket, aside Spanish one, looked like that! Are you expecting a cheerleaders to welcome You at the airport?

    Spannish delegation saw the hotel months ago! And guess what - no complaints!! There are NO hotels with LOGNER beds in Warsaw! Yeah! Group C hotel beds are all 7'4 foot long and at least 4' wide!! Some of them were bought specially for players! Polish newspappers checked that after the spanish scam! Pau Gasol can sleep there like a baby!