Denver Nuggets' Juancho Hernangómez and Spain advance to FIBA World Cup final
A FIBA World Cup Gold Medal could be on its way to Denver thanks to Juancho Hernangómez. The Nuggets’ reserve forward and Spain survived a grueling double overtime semifinal against Australia to advance to the tournament’s championship game on Sunday.
Hernangómez played 22 minutes in Friday, scoring eight points on 50 percent shooting and collecting four rebounds in the 95-88 win. Spain was led by the Toronto Raptors’ Marc Gasol, who turned back the clock with a dominant showing, dropping 33 points on 11 of 19 shooting and adding six boards and four dimes. Phoenix Suns point guard Ricky Rubio continued his strong run at the World Cup as he had 19 points and 12 assists. Australia was led by San Antonio Spurs guard Patty Mills, who had 34 points. Utah Jazz forward Joe Ingles also showcased his all-around game with 11 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists.
Hernangómez will be looking to secure the first Gold Medal of his career when Spain faces Argentina in Sunday’s final (6:00 a.m. MT, ESPN+) in in Beijing. His Nuggets’ teammates Nikola Jokić and Mason Plumlee could see action in Saturday’s fifth and seventh place games. Plumlee and the USA take on Poland (2:00 a.m. MT, ESPN+) while Jokić’s Serbia will play the Czech Republic (6:00 a.m. MT, ESPN+).