Ready for the last battle at the FIBA World Cup
In the last match of the FIBA World Cup, we`ll see an unexpected duel for the gold medals: Spain vs Argentina. At the start of the competition, everybody saw the USA, Serbia or Australia the teams with biggest chances to win the competition. But along the road, all those teams lost their focus or intensity and now they are battling for positions without a medal reward, except Australia who will play for the 3rd place against France.
Let`s see how Spain and Argentina managed to get in this big final and play for a well-deserved gold medal. I will start with Spain. They managed to bring a very talented squad here in China, including NBA stars Ricky Rubio or Marc Gasol, the NBA champion or the Hernangomez brothers, Juancho and Willy. Alongside them a handful of players with high European experience like Rudy Fernandez, Victor Claver or Sergio Llull. They won all the matches, including an 81-69 victory over Serbia in main stages and a 95-88 victory over Australia in the Semi-finals. In this game, the main scorer was the big man Marc Gasol who ended with 33 points and 6 rebounds. Other big contributors were Ricky Rubio with 19 points, 7 rebounds and 12 assists and Sergio Llull with 17 points and 6 assists. They played very good basketball through the entire competition relying on smart plays and great teamwork.
On the other hand, we have a big surprise, but a very nice one, Argentina. They don’t have superstars like other top teams, but they have a very good coach-player in Luis Scola. The former NBA star, despite his age of 39 years, led this team to the big final. In many crucial moments, Scola was the inspiration for other players, telling them to remain calm, watch for the open man and to not be afraid of any opponents. I saw that in today`s game when France come back from 60-45 to 65-58. Luis Scola took the boys around him, explained some tactics and more important urged them not to panic because the game is still in their hands. Argentina is also undefeated at this tournament and also won against big-favourites Serbia by 97-87. In the game against France, the main scorer was Luis Scola who finished the game with 28 points and 13 rebounds.
It will be a nice encounter and as a prediction, I expect Spain to win, but only if Marc Gasol maintains the high tempo in offense and stops Luis Scola at the other end. I think here is the key battle and the outcome of this one will give us the World Cup winners and also the MVP of the tournament.
Photo credit: http://www.fiba.basketball
Bogdan Vasile Tirc