San Antonio Spurs center Pau Gasol and Spain’s pursuit of a Gold Medal at Eurobasket came to end Thursday when Spain no longer remained undefeated, after the Spanish suffered a 92-72 loss at the hands of Slovenia.
Spain was able to stay within reach of Slovenia in the first half, as Espana only trailed Slovenia by four points going into halftime. However, in the third quarter, Slovenia’s defense clamped down on Spain’s offense, as the Spanish were held to 12 points in the quarter, while Slovenia still scored 24 points. By the time the third quarter ended, the Spanish were facing a 16-point deficit that they just couldn’t recover from in the end.
Pau, his brother Marc and Utah Jazz point guard Ricky Rubio led the way for Spain. Pau finished with 16 points (6-15 shooting), six rebounds and two blocks in 29 minutes. Marc added 12 points and 10 rebounds, while Rubio provided 13 points and three assists. Miami Heat guard Goran Dragic and Anthony Randolph combined for 30 points for Slovenia while 18-year old rookie Phenom Luka Doncic almost finished with a triple double, compiling 11 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists.
Gasol’s play at Eurobasket hasn’t quite ended as Spain will now aim for a Bronze medal in the third-place game. Spain will face the loser of Friday’s game between Serbia and Russia. The third-place game will tip off Sunday (09-17-2017) at 9:00 AM CST. Once Gasol finishes Sunday’s game he’ll have eight days off to rest and recover before training camp with the Spurs begins.