BEIJING, China – FIBA World Cup Most Valuable Player Ricky Rubio paid emotional tribute to his late mother and his “family” of teammates after a ruthless Spain saw off Argentina to win the title.
The 28-year-old Phoenix Suns point guard was once more instrumental for the Spaniards who brushed aside the Argentines, 95-75, in the final in Beijing on Sunday, September 15.
He had a team-best 20 points and was named Most Valuable Player of the competition.
It is the second World Cup title for Spain.
“We made history and we are really proud of that. We had a great tournament,” said Rubio, who averaged 16.4 points, 6.0 assists, 4.6 rebounds, and 1.5 steals per game.
“Just amazing how the tournament has been us as a team. You can tell – we were the team with the biggest heart and we showed it tonight and during the tournament.”
“We feel like this will go down as a memory for us as a family, and that is bigger than the World Cup.”
“It’s a family for life.”
“This tournament is going to follow me for life.”
Rubio said that his mother, who died 3 years ago, had inspired him.
“I know nobody loved me more. Even now she drives me every day, even though she’s not here,” he said.
Spain’s victorious coach Sergio Scariolo, an assistant at NBA champions the Toronto Raptors, said that Rubio had made a “triple A improvement” in recent years.
“A couple of steps more and he’ll be a Hall of Fame player,” said the Italian. – Rappler.com