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FIBA World Cup Day 3 roundup: Pau Gasol drops 26 on Brazil as Spain looks dominant

Sep 2, 2014, 12:45 AM EDT

Anderson Varejao, Pau Gasol AP

The FIBA World Cup is taking place in Spain right now, but it was Labor Day Monday in America and we know you were celebrating the gains organized labor has brought to our country… or drinking a lot of beer, either way you weren’t watching FIBA ball. So here is what you missed.

We said from the start this tournament was going to come down to Spain vs. the USA — and Spain flexed its muscles and looked dominant in beating Brazil 82-63 on Monday. Spain looked like a force from the opening tip with Pau Gasol scoring 12 (of his 26 for the game) in the first quarter and the Spaniards hanging a 30 spot on a good Brazil team in the first frame. The game was never really close and Bulls fans had to watch this game and just drool about what the 34-year-old Gasol is going to bring to Chicago this year. Gasol also had 9 rebounds and even blocked Nene right at the rim.

Make no mistake Spain is a legitimate threat to the USA (the two almost certainly will not meet until the gold medal game). The Spaniards looked better beating Brazil than Team USA did in its exhibition against that same team, with Spain having better ball movement and team play. Plus they have a raucous home crowd. Spain also has legitimate talent — they start Pau Gaol, Marc Gasol, Juan Carlos Navarro, Rudy Fernandez and Ricky Rubio, with Serge Ibaka, Jose Calderon and Sergio Rodriguez coming off the bench.

• Senegal pulled off an upset of Croatia 77-75 behind Gorgui Dieng (Timberwolves) who had 27 points on 8-of-14 shooting. Dieng has been a force in this tournament averaging 22 points a game on 54 percent shooting, plus 11.7 rebounds and a couple blocks a night. The Sixers Dario Saric looked good again with 15, as did the Nets Bojan Bogdanovic, but it wasn’t enough for Croatia.

• The Philippines are the best and most entertaining 0-3 team in the tournament. They came out with their young legs Monday and tried to run the old men of Argentina into the ground — and it worked for a while. The Philippines led early but eventually Argentina came back for an 85-81 victory.

• In other action France destroyed Egypt 94-55; Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 15 points to help lead Greece past Puerto Rico 90-79 (Greece has now qualified for the knockout round of 16); and Serbia beat Iran 83-70.

• Team USA had Monday off but play against New Zealand on Tuesday (11:30 ET on ESPN).

  1. sportsfan18 - Sep 2, 2014 at 7:51 AM

    Very happy the Bulls have Pau now…

    I think he’ll be rejuvenated a bit now… he should have a couple of good seasons left yet.

    He doesn’t have to do it all on the Bulls as they have Noah, Gibson and the kid Mirotic besides himself.

  2. cancionisimas - Sep 2, 2014 at 8:45 AM

    “The two almost certainly will not meet until the gold medal game”

    This is not accurate. Groups A and B NEVER play against groups C and D until the final. So no “almost certainly”, it’s a fact that Spain and USA can’t match up until the last game.

    Another proof that FEB (Federación Española de Baloncesto) and FIBA had made this tournament for the glory of Spain. Like we, in my country Spain, say: “Atado y bien atado”.

  3. saint1997 - Sep 2, 2014 at 9:12 AM

    I reckon Spain are winning this

  4. avb300 - Sep 2, 2014 at 9:42 AM

    The USA team is reallyy young. I want us to win but Spain has a lot of experienced NBA and int’l players. I really hope we win but it’s going to be a heck of a game.

    We definitely have more talent but youth could hurt us. We’re pretty much putting out our C team after all our better players withdrew/didn’t feel like playing.

  5. iagofalque - Sep 2, 2014 at 10:49 AM

    Team USA can’t beat Spain if Spain can keep playing this level.

  6. canadatude - Sep 2, 2014 at 12:35 PM

    abv300 is playing the old “but we didn’t bring our best” card. Teams that are well coached and play as a unit win.
    Coach Jack Donahue had Lewis Alcinder (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) in high school and also coached the Canadian men’s team to 4th in 1976/1984 Olympics (1980 boycot).
    1983 World University team from US had Barkley, Malone, Dawkins, Pickney and Willis. Canada beat them with a no-name squad and left 2 first round picks off their roster.

    • avb300 - Sep 2, 2014 at 3:30 PM

      Are you really comparing a World University team from 30 years ago?

      The fact that you have to go that far back shows how much you’re reaching.

      The USA team’s stars – AD, Kyrie and Harden are 21, 22 and 24. The “vet” Curry is just 26.

      Spain has the Gasols, Calderon who are close to or in their 30s and can really play. Add Ibaka who’s young has a lott of experience.

      Yeah…the US didn’t bring our best and Spain should actually win.. in SPAIN.

  7. erking1991 - Sep 2, 2014 at 3:40 PM

    If USA had Lebron it would be no contest.

    Just like the bulls will be no contest against the Cavs.

  8. lalifer - Sep 2, 2014 at 6:20 PM

    Granted it would be hard pressed to think any team out there would be able to beat the USA “A” team. However, it also shows, that anything less, would put any US team in trouble.

  9. canadatude - Sep 2, 2014 at 8:04 PM

    avb300, those university players were the same age and experience. Just making a point about coaching and teamwork. Concept that is lost on you.

  10. lifegoesonmyfriend - Sep 2, 2014 at 8:28 PM

    I’m very proud with the performance the Philippines are doing.

    People didn’t expect that they could play that great! The most entertaining 0-3 team.

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