Sunday, 8 August 2010

Pops Mensah-Bonsu joins Caja Laboral Tau, signs 2-year deal

Pops Mensah-Bonsu has signed a two-year with Spanish play-off winners, Tau Baskonia, after the Great Britain centre rejected a move to Maccabi Tel Aviv.

The Londoner, who left CSKA Moscow at the end of last season, is understood to have a NBA release clause next summer. But he admitted that he is relishing a second spell in the ACB.

“This is as a good as it gets,” he said. “Especially in the ACB, you couldn’t ask for more. I wouldn’t have gone if it wasn’t an ideal situation. I’m looking forward to seeing what’s going on. It’s a great league, second only to the NBA. It suits the way I play. I’m looking forward to it.”

The former Toronto and Dallas reserve concedes he still harbours ambitions to return to the NBA, despite his failure to solidify his place in spells with four different teams in the league.

“I’m still young,” he said. “I’m not chasing it. If they want me, they can come find me. I’m someone who holds the NBA in high regard. I feel I’m a NBA player. But I have no problem coming to Europe. The quality of basketball is high. But if they want me they’ll come get me and I’ll keep playing as hard as I can.”

He joins a Caja Laboral side that is fresh off shocking FC Barcelona in the end-of-year play-offs but that has lost its long-time star, the Brazilian centre Tiago Splitter, to the San Antonio Spurs. But he believes he can maintain their status at the top of the Spanish game.

"They still have some great players,” he said. “There is pressure on them because they won the ACB play-offs last season. Hopefully we can repeat and get to the Euroleague Final Four.”

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