The FIBA World Cup came to an end on Sunday, after Spain beat their South American opponents Argentina at 95-75. Spain proved their worth from the beginning, also denying Australia the chance to progress, something they did many years ago, even though they were initially an underrated team.
The last time Spain won the tournament was in 2006. Spain started the 20 point lead early in the game, pressing down their opponents, and going hard on them. Stars on the Spanish side, like Marc Gasol, and Ricky Rubio showed their worth, with Rubio netting in a massive 20 points, and being named the Most Valuable Player of the tournament.
Gasol, who won the NBA World Championship with the Toronto Raptors, has been quite instrumental, not only in this match but in the previous games, helping his country progress this far, especially after raking in over 30 points in their semifinal game against Australia.
Indeed, it is a good year for him as he enjoys two victories. Little wonders he and Rubio were named in the tournament five-man All-Star team, which was announced after the match. The remarkable thing about their victory is that no one saw it coming. They have been making silent wins, without raising much dust. This was expressed by Ricky Rubio after the match saying “We were not the most talented team, the biggest team, put whatever you want, but we were the team that had the big heart.”
On the other side, the French team beat Australia 67-59, to clinch the bronze medal. This comes as a surprise because Australia has always dominated, and was even tipped by some to win the tournament. But they succumbed to a thrashing by Spain for a second time.
The semifinal stage is the farthest they’ve gone in a long while, and finishing fourth is not such a bad deal. On the other hand, former champions USA are fixed at the seventh position. That ends the prestigious tournament. It has been two weeks of solid action with major upsets.
Written by: Leon Osamor