Spain was hailed champion in the FIBA Basketball World Cup after beating Argentina 95-75, considering their team was among the rank outsiders when the 32-team tournament began.
This is the country’s first ever win in the tournament since 2006.
The Spaniards scored first and never renounced their standing, as they further strengthen their interior defense and superior rebounding to snuff out the obnoxious threat of Argentina — 2004 Olympic champions.
Ricky Rubio, Spain’s point guard, racked up 20 points and three assists. Meanwhile, Mark Gasol and Willy Hernangomez individually slapped three shots as Spain pulled down 47 rebounds — more than Argentina’s 20, heading them to their comprehensive victory.
Gasol said this became his supreme achievement of an amazing year following his win in an NBA World Championship with the Toronto Raptors.
During their semi-final final victory over Australia, his 33 points positioned them to fight for the gold medal, and his defense to get the top spot on the podium.
Dominating the driving lanes
The 34-year-old Gasol prevailed the driving lanes to the basket even at the start of the games. Argentina used this to have a good fight against France, forcing them into outside shots that would not fall.
He was equally effective banging under the basket at the other end. Though he only made two of his nine field goal attempts, out of his 12 free throws, nine were hit to maintain the distance of their score from Argentina’s.
Together with Rubio, both were rewarded after the final for their performances to passionately fight for the gold medal, and even placed in the competition’s five-man All-Star team.
However, Argentinian Luis Scola’s superb skills, during their game against France, would not go unnoticed as these helped his team to be in the finals.
Although, this 39-year-old power forward only made his first point in the near end of the third quarter from the free throw line. This Spain’s victory this year marks their second win in tournaments on Asian soil. The first celebration was their 2006 victory over Greece in Saitama, Japan.