The Spanish National team have won the FIBA world cup in convincing fashion with a blowout win over Argentina in the final.
The Spanish National Team Was Dominant
With this win over Argentina, the Spanish National Team have shown themselves to be a true basketball powerhouse. This is their second time winning this tournament with their last win coming in 2006. Both Marc Gasol and Rudy Fernandez were on that team. Back then they were still youngsters playing supporting roles. This time around they were key pieces of a championship team.
This edition of the Spanish National Team had a new leader but a familiar face in Ricky Rubio. Back in 2006 Rubio was only 15 years old but he was already being groomed for this moment.
Ricky Rubio Led His Team to Victory
All throughout the tournament, Ricky Rubio showed himself to be the leader of the Spanish National Team. While he hasn’t always reached the heights many believed he would in the NBA, he has had a good career. When Rubio plays for Spain, he’s a different player. It probably has to do with the fact that the Spanish Basketball Federation has complete faith in his ability.
He played against the “Redeem Team” that included all of Team USA’s best players at the time. Not only did he play against the likes of LeBron James and Kobe Bryant back in 2008, he did it as a teenager. Rubio was only 17-years-old at the time and it shows you the level of confidence that the Spanish National Team have in his ability that they would throw what was essentially a high school kid out there against the world’s best players.
Marc Gasol Keeps Winning Championships
For the second time in a few months, Marc Gasol is celebrating a championship. It’s hard to compare anything to winning an NBA title but Gasol will savor this victory. Back in 2006 he was a part of the Spanish National Team’s first FIBA title. He played a different role for that team. He was still a kid and nowhere close the player he is now.
Even though Gasol is well passed his prime, he’s is still a good player both on offense and defense. On this Spanish team he is expected to do a lot more than the Raptors ask him to do. For that reason alone, he can look back on his career and know that he has been a part of at least three championships. He has had the chance to play several roles and all of these experiences are the reason he has had a prolific NBA career. In his prime he was one of the best players in the league, a true two-way big man which is rare these days.
An Olympic Medal Will Be the Goal
Of course Spain’s ambition would be to win Olympic gold. That’s probably not going to happen given that Team USA will send their best players to the Olympics. After finishing this tournament in 7th place, they will be in no mood to win anything but gold. That being said this isn’t about Team USA. This is about Spain and the fact that their best players made participating and winning this tournament a priority.
Marc Gasol is old enough that he could have said he was too tired to play after winning an NBA championship. These players were committed to winning and after going 8-0 in the tournament, deserve to be FIBA World Cup champions.