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Real Madrid keeps Van den Spiegel, Llull
June 28, 2009
Real Madrid capped a busy weekend on Sunday with the announcement that center Tomas Van den Spiegel has re-signed with the club. Madrid also announced that it has exercised an option in Sergio Llull's contract to keep the guard at the club for two more seasons. The news comes one day after Madrid signed former All-Euroleague center Darjus Lavrinovic. Van den Spiegel (214, 30) reunites with head coach Ettore Messina after the two won a pair of Euroleague titles together at CSKA Moscow. The contract is for one season with a team option for a second year. Van den Spiegel joined Madrid midway through last season and averaged 6.1 points and 3.6 rebounds in 12 Euroleague games as a reserve, helping the team reach the Quarterfinal Playoffs. He also produced 5.4 points and 3.4 rebounds in the Spanish League. Van den Spiegel is considered to be one of the best defensive centers in Europe and enters the season ranked 13 on the Euroleague career shot-blocking charts. He began his career with Osiris Denderleeuw and also played for BBC Aalst and BC Oostende in his native Belgium as well as Fortitudo Bologna and Virtus Roma in Italy, CSKA in Russia, Asseco Prokom in Poland and Azovmash Mariupol in Ukraine. Among his career highlights are Euroleague titles in 2006 and 2008 with CSKA plus a pair of Belgian League and three Russian League championships.
Llull (190, 21) just completed his third season at Madrid and first as a key contributor. He averaged 6.9 points and 2.2 assists in 19 Euroleague games and 8.6 points and 2.7 assists per game in the Spanish League. Llull played youth basketball at La Salle Mao and CB i Unio Manresana and began his pro career at Basquet Manresa. He also played for Finques Olesa before joining Madrid in 2006. Llull has long been considered one of the top young guards in Spanish and European basketball and can claim a gold medal from the 2004 European Under-18 Championships and a silver medal from the 2007 European U-20 Championships among his accomplishments.
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