Spain defeated Argentina 75-55 in the gold medal game of the 2019 FIBA World Cup to win its 2nd world cup title.
The 2019 FIBA World Cup was a highly competitive one that had a large group of teams with a legitimate shot of winning the title. With the United States fielding a less-talented roster than the past, many teams felt there was a great opportunity to dethrone the defending World and Olympic Champions. Australia, France, Spain, Argentina, Serbia, and surprise teams Poland and the Czech Republic all made good showings.
While it may not shock anyone that Spain beat Argentina in the final, some may be surprised that they managed to go 8-0 en route to the championship. The win brings some redemption to a group that has been closed, but unable to clear the final hurdle. In 2012, they won Silver at the Olympics. In 2014, they hosted the FIBA World Cup with a deep roster of NBA players and European stars. Unfortunately, they lost in the quarterfinals to France.
This 2019 FIBA World Cup was filled with the unexpected. USA finished 7th, the worst finish ever. Giannis Antetokounmpo, current NBA MVP and arguably the world’s best player, struggled as the FIBA’s defensive rules made it easier to guard the ultra-talented Greek. Serbia who dominated the round-robin round, winning by an average of 40, lost to Spain in the 2nd round and then was upset by Argentina in the semifinal. Argentina, who has to be one of the big surprises of the tournament, made a Cinderella run to the finals. While not far removed from their “Golden Age” of basketball led by Scola, Ginobili, Sanchez, Delfino, and Nocioni, Argentina was not filled with big named talent.
Spain was led by tournament MVP, Ricky Rubio, and Marc Gasol. Gasol is celebrating his second championship this summer as he is still savoring his NBA Championship with the Toronto Raptors. The win for Spain is a well-deserved one for a talented group that has been together for a long time. They have endured many close calls and used the experience to take that next step.