Led by NBA veterans Ricky Rubio and Marc Gasol, Spain defeated Argentina 95-75, in a game that was won in the paint, as both teams shot poorly from the perimeter. Rubio led six Spanish players in double-figures with 20 points, while Gasol shot 2-for-9, but finished with 14 points, 7 rebounds and 7 assists. What’s more is that Gasol becomes just the second hooper ever to win both the FIBA World Cup and the NBA Finals in the same summer — Lamar Odom did it for the Los Angeles Lakers and USA Basketball in 2010.
Gasol was among the five players named to the FIBA World Cup 2019 All-Star roster, joining Rubio, Luis Scola of Argentina, Bogdan Bogdanovic of Serbia and Evan Fournier of France. Rubio also earned MVP honors for his dominant tournament run, averaging 16 points, 4 rebound and 6 assists per game.
Seven teams, including Argentina, Australia, France, Iran, Nigeria, Spain and the United States, qualified for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo by finishing as the best, or second-best, teams in their regions at the World Cup. Host nation Japan has also qualified. The other four entrants will be finalized at qualifying tournaments early next summer.
In other basketball news, former Team USA member Dwight Howard delivered a tour of his Atlanta mansion.
What an amazing year… THANKS!!!
CAMPEONES DEL MUNDO!!! pic.twitter.com/NUX3lAOIPr
— Marc Gasol (@MarcGasol) September 15, 2019