SPAIN are the basketball world champions.
They comfortably beat Argentina, 95-75, in the Final of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 today.
Spain always looked to be on top after having the better start.
They scored 14 of the game’s first 16 points, although that is not to mean Argentina sat back and accepted their fate.
The South Americans repeatedly cut into Spain’s lead, but the Spanish repulsed every Argentine charge to keep their cushion.
For the first time in the World Cup, Argentina’s veteran big man Luis Scola was held scoreless for an entire half, which had a huge say in denying Argentina’s challenge for their second World Cup trophy.
It was a tremendous win for Spain who in basketball terms took Argentina apart with a clear 20-point win in Beijing China.
The Spaniards, who were eliminated from gold-medal contention at the last four Olympics by the USA (including in two finals), benefited from the Americans’ early exit last week. The USA finished seventh, its worst result ever in a major international tournament, after losses to France and Serbia.
Coach Scariolo’s side never let up the pressure, intensifying their aggressiveness on both ends of the floor as the game progressed, disabling Argentina from turning the tide and ensuring an eight-game sweep of the World Cup.
Ricky Rubio had 20 points to lead Spain, which also got double-figure scoring from Rudy Fernandez, Marc Gasol, Sergio Llull and the Hernangomez brothers. Argentina were led by Nicolas Laprovittola and Gabriel Deck, who tallied 17 and 24 points, respectively.