2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup

Ricky Rubio, Marc Gasol lead Spain past Argentina to win gold at FIBA World Cup

Spain finishes the tournament with an undefeated 8-0 record

BEIJING — Marc Gasol won his second championship in less than three months and Spain earned its second ever FIBA World Cup title with a 95-75 win over Argentina in the gold medal game on Sunday.

After Spain opened the game with a 14-2 lead, Argentina answered with an 11-0 run, but the Spanish took back control, led by as many as 17 early in the second quarter, and went up by 22 with a 12-0 run early in the third. Neither team shot particularly well from the perimeter, but Spain outscored Argentina, 44-30, in the paint.


Ricky Rubio led six Spanish players in double-figures with 20 points, shooting 6-for-11 from the field. Gasol shot just 2-for-9, but finished with 14 points, seven rebounds and seven assists.

Gasol and Rudy Fernandez are the only players remaining from Spain’s previous world championship, which came in 2006, with a win over Greece in the title game. He scored only two points in that game, but provided a valuable 17 minutes in place of his brother Pau, who broke his foot in the semifinals.

The Toronto Raptors center becomes the second player to win an NBA title and a FIBA world gold medal in the same year, joining Lamar Odom — who did it for the Los Angeles Lakers and USA Basketball in 2010.

Gasol is also the 19th to win either an NBA or WNBA crown along with a gold medal, either of the Olympic or World Cup variety, in the same year. And he’s the first to accomplish that feat while representing a nation other than the U.S.

Gasol was among the five players named to the FIBA World Cup 2019 All-Star 5, joining Rubio, Luis Scola (Argentina), Bogdan Bogdanovic (Serbia) and Evan Fournier (France). Rubio also earned MVP honors for his dominant tournament run.

Argentina’s Gabriel Deck led all scorers with 24 points. Scola, who averaged 19.3 points over his team’s first seven games of the tournament, was held scoreless until draining a pair of free throws at the 3:29 mark of the third quarter. He finished with eight points, making just one of his 10 shots from the field.

Earlier on Sunday, France came back from 15 points down in the third quarter to beat Australia, 67-59, for the bronze medal. Nando de Colo led all scorers with 19 points, back-up point guard Andrew Albicy hit a pair of big threes down the stretch, and Boston Celtics rookie Vincent Poirier provided quality minutes in the comeback.

Seven teams – Argentina, Australia, France, Iran, Nigeria, Spain and the United States – qualified for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo by finishing as the top (or second-best) teams in their regions at the World Cup. As the host nation, Japan has also qualified. The other four entrants will be determined by qualifying tournaments early in the summer of 2020.

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John Schuhmann is a senior stats analyst for NBA.com. You can e-mail him here, find his archive here and follow him on Twitter.

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Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.