That’s how good he says he feels about his squad, Spain.
The Oklahoma City Thunder forward, who will compete in his first Olympics, said his 2008 silver medal-winning team has gotten deeper and better, too.
”They are just like us,” Ibaka, 22, said. “They also have players with a lot of talent, They are a different team to 2008, but their players are still very good.”
After being nationalized, Ibaka helped lead Spain last summer to the European championship. He arrived early for workouts for the London Games.
”There’s no time to rest,” he said. “We have to find our rhythm for the competition already for these friendly games we have, see how we feel.”
Spain has the bulk of its 2008 team – including Los Angeles Laker Pau Gasol, his brother Marc of the Memphis Grizzlies and point guard Rudy Fernandez. Spain is hurt by the knee injury to rising star guard Ricky Rubio.
Ibaka is a defensive specialist and shot-blocker that gives Spain a strong inside presence with the Gasol brothers.
Spain has several exhibitions before opening against China on July 29 in London, including one against the U.S. in Barcelona on July 24. If the pair lives up to their billing as competition favorites, they won’t meet again until the Aug. 12 final after being drawn in different groups.
”We should only worry about our own preparations because it’s a long road to the final,” Ibaka said. ”The most important thing is to give our all to get there.”