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SBD Global/May 1, 2013/People and Pop Culture

Names In The News

Pau Gasol could compete for his native country this summer.
NBA L.A. Lakers F PAU GASOL could represent Spain at the Eurobasket 2013 in Slovenia. After the London Games, Gasol said he would not compete for Spain the following summer. Gasol has five months before the '13-14 NBA season, and would have more than three months of rest before the start of practices at the beginning of August for the next Eurobasket, which will take place from Sept. 4-22. The fact that he is one of the top Spanish athletes sponsored by Nike "could also be an important factor in his decision" (MARCA, 4/30). ... MLB Cincinnati Reds player DONALD LUTZ "has become the first German in the majors after he made his debut on Monday." Lutz "pinch hitted in the seventh inning of the Reds' game against the St. Louis Cardinals" (SÜDDEUTSCHE ZEITUNG, 4/30).

ON THE PITCH: FC Barcelona F PETE MICKEAL announced that he will put basketball aside for an undetermined period of time due to health reasons. Mickeal said that he will travel to his home country, the U.S., in two weeks' time to meet a specialist and focus on his blood problem before even considering playing professional basketball again (EUROLEAGUE, 4/30). ... AC Milan issued a statement on Tuesday denying quotes attributed to its striker MARIO BALOTELLI "where he was said to have offered his girlfriend as a Champions League incentive to Real Madrid" (XINHUA, 4/30). ... I-League Pune FC coach DERRICK PEREIRA "will be leaving the team at the end of the season" after four years. Pereira will return to his home state Goa to be with his family (PTI, 4/30). ... Former A-League Melbourne Victory attacker ROBBIE KRUSE "will sign for Champions League-bound Bayer Leverkusen." Kruse "will have a medical" Wednesday before his A$2M ($2.1) transfer (HERALD SUN, 4/30).

QUITE A BLESSING: POPE FRANCIS blessed the pink leader's jersey of the '13 edition of the Giro d'Italia Tuesday, which will kick off May 4 in Naples and ends May 26 in Brescia, Italy (CYCLING NEWS, 4/30).  ... The Russian athletics federation has handed Olympic discus Silver Medalist DARYA PISHCHALNIKOVA "a 10-year doping ban after failing a drugs test for the second time" (REUTERS, 4/30). ... Australian sprinter MATT GOSS "will lead Orica-GreenEDGE at the Giro d'Italia" (EUROSPORT, 4/30).
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