The Spain Men’s Basketball Team claimed their second Naismith Trophy after a 95-75 win against Argentina in the Final of the FIBA Basketball World Cup at the Wukesong Sport Arena in Beijing, China.
The European powerhouse squad became one of the only few countries to have won multiple World Cup titles, joining Brazil, Soviet Union, United States and Yugoslavia. They also won their first and only other title in Asia, when they defeated Greece to win the 2006 Basketball World Cup in Japan.
Ricky Rubio, who won the tournament MVP title, led the champions with 20 points and seven boards, while fellow All-Star Five selection Marc Gasol added 14 points, seven rebounds and seven assists to help the Spanish team repeat as champions after 13 years.
The only other two-time World Cup winner in the squad, Rudy Fernandez, finished with a double-double of 11 points and 10 rebounds, as the Spaniards finished the tournament undefeated.
Meanwhile, inaugural World Cup winners Argentina ended up with another second-place finish, similar to when they also ended up second in 2002. They won the inaugural edition of the competition in 1950.
Argentinian big man Luis Scola was also named to the All-Star Five team. Completing the awardees are French swingman Evan Fournier and Serbian hotshot Bogdan Bogdanovic.
Fournier also helped his country win bronze, as France came from behind in the second half to defeat Australia, 67-59, for their second consecutive top three finish at the World Cup.
Final Standings of FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019:
6. Czech Republic
15. Puerto Rico
16. Dominican Republic
19. New Zealand
29. Cote d’Ivoire
The lone Southeast Asian representatives in the quadrennial event, the Philippines, finished dead last. They gave up an average margin of nearly 30 points per game to its opponents and were swept, 0-5, against Italy, Serbia, Angola, Tunisia, and Iran.
As co-hosts of the next World Cup, the proud country will definitely look to bounce back from this setback to rise back up to respectability in the basketball world. The Philippines will be sharing hosting duties with Japan and Indonesia in 2023, with the official turnover ceremony commencing during the halftime of the Championship Game.
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