Final ticket | Inquirer Sports

Final ticket

Spain rallies past gritty Australia in 2OT, sets title duel vs Argentina
/ 04:40 AM September 14, 2019

From left, Willy Hernangomez Geuer, Sergio Llull, and Javier Beiran of Spain celebrate after winning their semifinal match against Australia in double overtime in the FIBA Basketball World Cup at the Cadillac Arena in Beijing, Friday, Sept. 13, 2019. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)

BEIJING—NBA champion Marc Gasol saved Spain on Friday as they battled back to beat Australia, 95-88, after a second overtime period and reach the Basketball World Cup final.

A thrilling semifinal was 71-71 at the end of regulation time and the two sides could not be separated at the end of a nervy first overtime.


Finally, the 2006 world champions Spain jubilantly emerged after the Boomers appeared to run out of juice.


Sergio Llull hit two three-pointers in the second overtime for Spain to cap their comeback.

Gasol, the Toronto Raptors center, finished with 33 points, six rebounds and four assists after stepping up late in a breathtaking game when his country needed him most.

“We came back, we stuck together through tough times, that means a lot,” said the 34-year-old, a three-time NBA All-Star.

Another veteran shone for his team as Luis Scola punched in a monster performance to power Argentina past France, 80-66, in the other semifinal.

Scola had 28 points and 13 rebounds points for Argentina. He made three out of four triples, including back-to-back hits in the third that allowed the Argentines to pull away, and was 9-of-10 from the stripe.

Argentina will face Spain in the final in Beijing on Sunday, where Scola battles Gasol, who played a key role in the Raptors’ historic run to the NBA crown and knows that victory in the finale will cap the perfect season.


“It’s been great, I have been very fortunate,” he said.

“I knew that it would not be easy physically (going from the NBA Finals to the World Cup) but it’s definitely worth it.

“Not because of the final but passing along those values to the team. It’s our turn to pass on the legacy to the next generation [of the Spain team].”

Ricky Rubio was also pivotal once more for Spain with 19 points, 12 assists, seven rebounds and four steals.

Red-hot Patty Mills was unfortunate to be on the losing side, leading Australia with 34 points.

The Australians, who had never gone beyond the quarter-finals in 11 previous World Cups, had the whiff of revenge in their nostrils—and a first final.

Spain edged the Boomers 89-88 in the bronze-medal match at the Rio 2016 Olympics and the Australians had waited three long years to get their own back.

In Mills, they had one of the players of the World Cup and his three-pointer midway through the second quarter put Australia 27-22 in front.

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The in-form guard pulled off the same trick with 88 seconds left on the clock in the second quarter to give Australia a 37-32 advantage at the break. —AFP

TAGS: Basketball, Fiba World Cup, Marc Gasol, Sports

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