October 17, 2019
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Spain claims gold at Basketball World Cup after thrashing Argentina

Beijing, Sep 15 (efe-epa).- Spain basketball men's national team won Sunday its second FIBA World Cup crown after overcoming Argentina 95-75 in the final held at the packed 18,000-seat Beijing's Wukesong Arena.

Spain relied on aggressive attacking play throughout the course of the game to end the 2019 final with a 20-point victory against its Argentine rival, a side that was neutralized over much of the contest.

A different Argentina team showed up for the final; this was a team that appeared to be the opposite of the side that had put on outstanding performances over this year's World Cup campaign, such as victories against powerhouses Serbia and France.

Following the win Spain's royal family posted a message of congratulations on Twitter: "You have the courage of the champions! No one in the world plays basketball better than you!"

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez also tweeted in celebration of the achievement and praised the team.

"A lesson of hard work, team spirit, and defense by the Spanish team," Sanchez posted. "A lesson of BAS KET BALL! Congratulations, Spanish basketball men's national team!"

Argentina's Gabriel Deck was the top scorer of the game with 24 points, but it was not enough for his team to be as competitive as expected before the match.

Ricky Rubio was the top scorer on the Spanish team, but Marc Gasol put on an outstanding performance - 14 points, seven assists and seven rebounds - all of which helped the squad emerge victorious.

Rubio, who was chosen as the most valuable player of the tournament, was also selected for the 2019 World Cup all-star squad, along with Gasol.

The Iberian side, which was the World Cup champion for the first time in 2006 in Japan, got off to a fast start in the beginning of the first quarter, having a 7-0 lead by the second minute, before doubling its lead to 14-2 a couple of minutes later.

Argentina managed to regain some balance, narrowing the gap to just one point by the eighth minute, but their comeback rally was short lived as Spain ended the first quarter in the lead, 23-14.

The Latin Americans' performance improved in the second quarter but it ended with almost the same gap (43-31).

After the break, the Spanish side - led by Italian coach Sergio Scariolo - worked at break-neck pace and gave themselves a 22-point lead halfway through the third quarter, 66-47.

The Argentine squad tried to make a come-back in the final quarter but the Spaniards held on to their large point advantage right up until the end (95-75). EFE-EPA

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