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Pablo Prigioni, Argentina
From Fiba.com: If (Prigioni) has fully recovered from a scary virus that took him down during 2005 ACB playoffs, Prigioni should undoubtedly be one of the best newcomers on the world stage. It would be a lie to say anybody expected the steady player to explode the way he has this season. Even Tau Vitoria, where he had been playing for two years, didn't see it coming. With a surprising authority, Prigioni instantly became a genius playmaker, able to control the tempo as few others can.
Heading to Japan, Prigioni will be the symbol of an Argentinean bench that's as deep as ever. Just like the other new substitutes, he shares common values with the team's veterans and will surely fit in with little trouble.
Name: Pablo Prigioni
Postion: Point Guard
Born: May 17, 1977
Origin: Rio Tercero, Argentina
Languages: Spanish, Italian
Teams (jersey): Argentine National Team, Obras Sanitarias (1998-99), Fuenlabrada (1999-2001), Alicante (LEB, 2001-02), Alicante (ACB, 2002-03), Tau Vitoria (Spain-ACB, 2003-06)
Ibn Notes: One of Europe's best playmakers and defensive players for the last several years, Prigioni is the Jason Kidd of the ACB/Euroleague, that is he is a pass-first point guard of the old days.
It's not unusual for Prigioni to average 6-8 assists per game - whether in the ACB or an international tournament (as he did recently in the 2007 Tournament of the Americas, when he led the tournament with 6.3apg).
That might sound average to an NBA fan, but when you factor in that he is doing this in the International leagues, where assists are harder to come by and the games are only 40 minutes long, this is a pretty amazing number.
We don't just compare Prigioni to Jason Kidd because of his high-assist average, but because he has that innate sense that when a teammate is open, he is going to find them. His eye for knowing the his teammate's intention is the same eye that allows him to also predict his opponent's next step and that allots him a great feel for defense and stealing the ball. Prigioni led the
Awards/Titles: 2005-06 was a big season for Pablo as he was named the MVP of the Copa Del Rey Tournament when Tau Ceramica Vitoria defeated Pamesa Valencia 85-80. Despite scoring only 3 points, Pablo recorded a record 15 assists in that game. Prigioni averaged 6ppg and 9 assists for the tournament. That same season he was named the the ACB Ideal Five along with Luis Scola, Jorge Garbajosa, Carlos Jimenez, and Juan Carlos Navarro and named to the all-defensive team for the third straight year (from 2002-06). In 2007, Pablo was named the ACB's best point guard.
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