- Spain is a -190 favorite to win the 2019 FIBA World Cup gold-medal game
- Spain won the FIBA World Cup in 2006
- Argentina, the +155 underdog, won the First FIBA World Cup title in 1950
Spain lived up to the hype. France did not.
The end result is that the Cinderella story that is the national basketball team of Argentina is one win away from a shocking victory in the 2019 FIBA World Cup.
The Spaniards and Argentines will clash in Sunday’s gold-medal game in Beijing. Both own 7-0 records.
Spain, the 2006 FIBA World Cup winners, is the -190 chalk to capture the crown.
Australia vs Spain 2019 FIBA World Cup Semi-Final Odds
|Spain||-190||-3.5 (-110)||Over 153.5 (-115)|
|Argentina||+155||+3.5 (-110)||Under 153.5 (-110)|
*Odds taken 09/13/19.
Argentina, the +155 underdog, last played in the FIBA World Cup gold-medal game in 2002. The Argentines haven’t won the FIBA World Cup since the inaugural tournament in 1950.
Spain Works Overtime
The Spanish required double overtime to oust Australia 95-88 in their semi-final.
Toronto Raptors center Marc Gasol, who is one win away from turning the NBA Championship-FIBA World Cup gold medal double in the same year, was the linchpin for Spain’s victory. Gasol scored 33 points. He was 11-of-19 from the field. Gasol added six rebounds, four assists and two blocks.
He sunk a pair of free throws with four seconds left in regulation time to force the game to OT. Gasol scored 11 of his 33 points during the extra sessions.
Spanish coach Sergio Scariolo could also turn the double. Scariolo is a Raptors assistant coach.
Argentina’s Old Guard
Actually, Argentina’s old guard is a power forward. Luis Scola, 39, again was the dominant force as the team no one gave a chance to be anywhere near the final got their by toppling France 80-66.
France had stunned the USA in the quarter-finals.
Scola scored 28 points and grabbed 13 rebounds. Meanwhile, two-time reigning NBA defensive player of the year Rudy Gobert of France, the man expected to slow Scola, finished with just three points, and did little to put a governor on the scoring prowess of the ageless Argentina star.
Argentina used an early 10-0 to gain control against the French and never relinquished it.
Miracle on Hardwood?
If Al Michaels were calling Sunday’s final, he might be inclined to ponder do you believe in miracles?
Scola played in the NBA from 2007-17 but Argentina lists no current NBA players on its roster. Spain suits up four NBA players. Gasol, 34, was part of the Spanish team that won the FIBA World Cup in 2006.
WHO YOU GOT ?? #FIBAWC
— Basketball World Cup (@FIBAWC) September 13, 2019
Scola has played for Argentina since 1999. He was with the Argentines when they lost 84-77 to Yugoslavia in the 2002 final and when they beat Italy 84-69 to win the gold medal at the 2004 Athens Summer Olympics.
Spain, though, are rich in experience. With Gasol working the paint and Ricky Rubio running the show from the backcourt, Spain’s depth should win the day. Rubio posted 19 points, seven rebounds, and 12 assists in Spain’s semi-final win.
The Spanish gutted it out to beat Australia, rallying from an 11-point deficit.
Pick: Spain [-190, -3.5 (-110), Over 153.5 (-115).
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