Orlando Magic forward Serge Ibaka will not play for Spain at the Rio Olympics.
The Spanish basketball federation narrowed their list of finalists from 24 to 20 players on Monday, with Ibaka being one of the four cuts.
Olympic teams can have no more than one naturalized player, so either Ibaka or the Chicago Bulls’ Nikola Mirotic had to go. Mirotic stayed, after Ibaka said he didn’t want to play, according to Marca.
Brothers Pau and Marc Gasol and NBA guards Ricky Rubio and Jose Calderon are also on the 20-player list that must be cut to 12 for the Games. Marc had broken foot surgery Feb. 23 and is considered questionable at best for Rio.
“Marc is trying to recover, trying to see if he can arrive in time,” Spain coach Sergio Scariolo said earlier this month, according to FIBA. “Today, it’s too early to tell.”
Spain lost to the U.S. in the last two Olympic finals and could be a closer challenger this year, given the U.S. is without many of its best players.Follow @nzaccardi