By Eurohoops team / firstname.lastname@example.org
Spain put Saturday’s triumph over Tunisia behind when they stepped foot on the floor on Monday against Puerto Rico, as they sealed a 73-63 victory, their second in Group C of the tournament that helps them qualify to the second round.
Marc Gasol’s experience and dominance helped Sergio Scariolo’s squad get over the tough moments of the game, and the big man finished the game with 19 points, seven rebounds, and two assists.
Puerto Rico remained competitive nearly until the end, with Gian Clavell (13 points) leading the way. The first half ended 36-35 in favor of the Spanish, though their opponents enjoyed a 6-0 run in the middle of the third period to reduce the deficit to 43-41.
“We have to give credit to Puerto Rico, they played great. They gave us a hard time with their aggressiveness and they believed in the win until the very last minute”, commented Sergio Scariolo.
After a timeout called by Scariolo, Spain pushed for a 10-0 run of their own to end the third. A few decisive plays between Gasol and Ricky Rubio (17 points, eight rebounds, four assists) put the foundations for the victory in the last quarter and there was no turning back for Puerto Rico.
Spain remains the only undefeated team and will have the change to seal the top spot of the group on Wednesday against Iran. Meanwhile, Puerto Rico can live another day with a victory against Tunisia, with whom they share a 1-1 record.
Photo credit: FIBA.basketball