MANILA, Philippines – Spain started on fire and put the shackles on Luis Scola to crush Argentina, 95-75, for the gold medal in the FIBA World Cup at the Wukesong Sports Arena in Beijing, China, on Sunday, September 15.
Ricky Rubio delivered 20 points, 7 rebounds, and 3 assists to lead 6 players in double figures as Spain reclaimed its place at the basketball summit by recapturing the World Cup crown it won 13 years ago.
Spain jumped to a 14-2 lead, ended the maiden period up 23-14, and never looked back from since by limiting Argentina star Scola to 8 points on atrocious 1-of-10 shooting from the field.
Chalking up a game-high 28 points in their semifinals win over France, Scola was expected to come up big for an Argentina team seeking to complete unfinished business after settling for silver in the 2002 World Cup.
Scola, though, found no openings on offense and was kept scoreless in the first half – with his first points coming off a pair of free throws with 3:29 minutes left in the third quarter and Spain leading 60-41.
Argentina managed to narrow the gap to 12 points, 66-78, before Rubio – who clinched the final and tournament Most Valuable Player awards – knocked down the foul shots that restored order for Spain.
Rubio then sank the proverbial dagger from long distance with 1:31 minutes left to give his side a 93-72 cushion.
Marc Gasol – who was named into the World Cup All-Star 5 with Rubio – finished with 14 points, 7 rebounds, and 7 assists, while Rudy Fernandez put up 11 points and 10 rebounds in the win.
Sergio Llull fired 15 points as brothers Willy and Juan Hernangomez added 11 points apiece for Spain.
Gabriel Deck paced Argentina with 24 points, Nicolas Laprovittola chipped in 17 points, while Facundo Campazzo had 11 points, 8 assists, and 4 steals in the loss. – Rappler.com
Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.