Article by: Pete Caceci
After a 13-year drought, Spain took home the trophy after defeating Argentina 95-75. This win shocked the world, as many thought this team consisted of outsiders and dysfunction as soon as the tournament began.
The Spanish team had complete dominance in the game, scoring first and never allowing their opponent to strike equally back. Their swarming interior defense and overall superior rebounding abilities took away the confidence that Argentina had coming into the game. Point guard Ricky Rubio shined as he scored 20 points and three assists, whereas current-NBA champion Marc Gasol and Willy Hernangoez were able to swat three shots each. By the end of the game, the Spanish team had pulled down 47 rebounds, close to double of what Argentina could manage.
Marc Gasol seems to be finding success everywhere he goes. He had a great hand in helping the Toronto Raptors claim their very first NBA title, and he was now able to lift the Spanish team back into the limelight. Prior to claiming the trophy, he was able to push his team passed Australia in the semi-finals by scoring 33 points and not allowing any shot over him. Gasol knew when facing Argentina how to stop their aggressive offense by standing in the driving lanes. This effect would force his opponents to make far shots that could not fall.
Both Gasol and teammate Rubio were heavily rewarded for their dominance and leadership in Spain’s undefeated run to the gold medal. After the game, Rubio was honored as the tournament’s most valuable player. “Right now, we made history, and we were ready for that. We had a great tournament , (but) you’ve got to give credit to Argentina, we had to fight for this win,” Rubio told a post-game news conference. “It’s just amazing how the whole tournament has been us as a team, and you can tell. We weren’t the most talented team, the biggest team, put whatever you want, but we were the team that had the big heart.”
This victory has allowed fans from everywhere to see how the sport of basketball is no longer dominated by the United States. In a recent article by fellow Heated Sports writer Harrison Weaver, the United States did not show the constant force that typically other countries can’t compete against. For this year’s tournament, they were able to place seventh overall, and snapped a 58-game win streak. We have seen over the recent years other players from other countries dominate the league and capture success that stems from recently retired Tony Parker to the “Greek Freak” Giannis Antetokounmpo. Hopefully, this victory can be seen from the rest of the world as a beam of hope, as they can help their country place at the top and earn their spot to play in the NBA.
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