The Mediterranean duel at the World Cup won by Spain
In a low scoring and a very defensive-minded game, Spain managed to beat one of their European opponents, Italy, with 67-60. This game had a low pace, very low shooting percentages and just a few assists. Let`s see some facts and stats about this game.
Before the game, I expected an interesting encounter with huge plays, many points or at least some fights for every ball or point. But in the end, it turned to be a low attractive match, a game that pleased only defensive-minded coaches or fans. The game started slowly and at half-time, the score was 31-30 for Italy, with both teams notching only 6 assists apiece. The third quarter was the one with the most points scored in the game, 37. But in the fourth quarter, the stats were even worse. Both teams scored only 7 field goals out of 27, and only the 11 points scored at the foul line, made Spain the winners of this game.
The main contributors from Spain were: Juancho Hernangomez with 16 points and 4 rebounds, Ricky Rubio with 15 points, 2 rebounds and 2 assists and Victor Claver with 7 points and 9 rebounds. For Italy: Danilo Gallinari with 15 points and 5 rebounds, Luigi Datome with 12 points and 3 rebounds and Marco Belinelli with 7 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists.
After this game, Spain managed to qualify to the Quarter-Finals along with Serbia from this group, letting Italy in disappointment, despite their strong line-up present at the World Cup. Now the only aim for Italy is to beat Puerto Rico and finish in the third place. For Spain, they must improve their shooting and also they need a better version of Marc Gasol because he finished this game with only 2 points in 27 minutes, an unacceptable score-line from an NBA champion. It`s hard to say anything else from a match where both teams finished under 40% in shooting percentages, maybe only the fact that the defense worked very, very well in this game. Maybe that`s good for Spain because as the old one`s say Defense wins Championships.
Photo credit: http://www.fiba.basketball/basketballworldcup/2019
Bogdan Vasile Tirc