Ricky's Spain travels to quarters

Guided by the point guard of El Masnou, 26 points, the National Team beats Argentina and will be seeded in the quarterfinal draw against Slovenia.


Reliable as always when great moments come, Spain, Ricky Rubio's Spain, 26 points, resolved professionally (81-71) the first important game of the Games and is now in the quarterfinals. It wasn't brilliant, but it was solvent. Scariolo patiently let Argentina's gas tank run out and, running a relatively constant line, the match irrevocably turned over to the world champion's side. Spain may need a lot more against Slovenia. Argentina is a somewhat muted selection, far from that of 2019, in which Campazzo has lost the flow that he had in Madrid, Vildoza is unknown and Laprovittola (27 points) went as far as he could. Spain, meanwhile, always seems ready to give something more. This Sunday it will be necessary.

It was sung that Argentina would come out with the knife between its teeth and centered, trying to play the game as long as possible. El Oveja surprised by giving the first attacks of the match to Laprovittola instead of Campazzo and the new Barça player did not fail him. Argentina went 0-7 against an erratic Spain. Scariolo barely waited for 2-13 to call the first time out. Then, Ricky entered the scene, with a spectacular series of shots and a demonstration of superiority that is beginning to be frequent, he turned the game around in a jiffy (16-15). However, a blow to Laprovittola's nose knocked him out of action and, without him, Spain lost again (18-25) .

Llull appeared, invaluable in both parts of the court, to re-balance a game that at some point had signs of becoming dangerous. Laprovittola, fired up, fought to keep Argentina in the match (31-32). The game came to halftime with Scariolo testing Willy once again with Marc at four-five. Fakes with that movement, and gave continuity because the Madrid pivot scores with ease. At half-time, 40-34, the maximum Spanish difference, and the feeling that the worst had passed. Although with a disturbing image. Rudy writhing in pain down his left shoulder after a hit with Deck. Scariolo must have quickly printed the sheet with the statistics of the first part. Argentina had taken ten offensive rebounds, although it is true that the defense of the world champion had improved. In the second quarter, he had handcuffed the rival and only allowed him to score nine points.

What's new in the second part. Scariolo liked what he saw of Willy and tried to punish Scola around. Classic basketball. Marc was not there (seven losses), but the Madrilenian was. A new charge from Ricky stretched Spain to 55-47. But Ricky seemed too dependent in many moments of the game. Llull took his relief with four consecutive points, and a two plus one from Pau led the game to the maximum difference of Spain (61-47). Argentina, however, survived to the end of the third quarter (61-53) .

At 41 years old, Pau was exhausted six minutes from the end, but with a display of tremendous pride. He had asked for the change, but the action never ended and he finished it off with a tremendous offensive rebound that Claver turned at 67-56. Gasol left the game with 9 points, 8 rebounds and a +12 with him on the court, the best of the National Team. To top off the game, as always, Ricky. A triple two minutes from the end that already removed any threat of an Argentine comeback (79-66), although those who least believed in the comeback were the Argentines themselves, who will have to beat Japan to get into the quarters. Spain, meanwhile, is still traveling in the Games. Sunday's season, Slovenia, in which it is decided to be seeded, will be tougher.

Photos from as.com
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