Tue. Apr 7th, 2020

Spain culminates an epic comeback with two extensions and will fight for gold

After two extensions and two and a half hours of the semifinal, Spain knocked down Australia (95-88) and on Sunday will fight for the second world gold medal in its history. The selection survived a drama. Scariolo warned that it was a game to be patient and the team had it for tons. It was for many minutes behind, but again the defense, with special mention for Llull about Mills, and Marc's monumental game (33 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists) led Spain again to fight to be the best team planet.

The four triples with which Spain reached the rest arrived all in the first quarter. In the second, the selection insisted on launching three with disastrous results (4/17). For what that obsession could mean, Spain came almost intact to the break (32-37). It was not the only gap. He spent four minutes without scoring in the second quarter, started the period by fitting a partial 2-11 and Marc went to the locker room with a disturbing 0/4 in field shots. The only salvageable were a zonal defense and the departure of Ricky. Before the zone, the "aussies" crashed in their first three attacks. And less bad. It was a relief because Mills was starting to carburet and the bench of the "boomers" produced too much on both sides of the track.

It was played as Australia wanted. Ordered, hard back and with Mills with wide sleeves to decide. The start of the third quarter was a mirage. Marc's five consecutive points, triple included, did not alter the biorhythms of the ocean. The aboriginal base assumed gallons and Spain stagnated again. The result? A partial 2-10 (39-50) with Marc's auto basket included. Australia was a battleship and Spain had to recover its vital signs. He had to return the defense of the days against Italy and Serbia and someone had to step forward. Scariolo said in Cuatro before starting that "this has to be the match of patience." And Spain was rearmed from the defense. He overcame a few critical minutes, survived and the game remained open with ten minutes ahead (51-55).

Between Llull, Ribas and Ricky they were in charge of closing the "via Mills". And the figure of Marc appeared in attack. Very slowly, Spain began to subtract. A triple from Marc, another from Ribas, the return of Ricky … Two minutes to go, Spain was there again (67-70). It was about being patient with the clock in full countdown choking. The ending was dramatic. Spain had two possessions to get ahead, but we had to wait in the absence of 8.7 seconds with two free throws from Marc (71-70). Australia was put in the hands of Mills. Who else? He forced a foul, but missed a free throw and with four seconds ahead, Ricky was about to score from the center of the court to avoid extra time.

Spain coming from behind had managed to survive. The devastating effects of Mills had been alleviated. The rest of the Australians were handcuffed and the team had the patience Scariolo claimed. With Marc plugged in attack as he had not been in the entire championship came a first escape (76-71) that did not bear fruit because the hole in the offensive rebound was a chasm. And so he reached the last 16 seconds with possession to reach the final (78-78). A lack of Marc and two free throws of Mills left Spain 14 seconds for the nth comeback (78-80). Scariolo's blackboard ended with two free throws for Marc after missing Dellavedova. He scored both. The ball was for Australia with four seconds, but Dellavedova did not avoid the second overtime.

The second extension began as the first. Spain escaped again and Australia appeared all the ghosts of Rio. Two Llull triples and a Claver robbery, as happened in Rio, sent the boomers to the canvas and to Spain, to the second World Cup final in their history.

95. Spain (22 + 10 + 19 + 20 + 9 + 15): Rubio (19), Rudy (2), Hernangómez (8), Claver (9) and Marc (33) – titular quintet – Oriola (0), Llull (17), Ribas (7) and Geuer (0).

88. Australia (21 + 16 + 18 + 16 + 9 + 8): Mills (32), Dellavedova (8), English (4), Landale (3) and Baynes (6) -quintet holder- Goulding (5), Bogut (12), Kay (18) and Creek (2).

Referees: Locatelli (Bra), Sahin (Ita) and Bermúdez Mariscal (Mex). Without eliminated. Ricky technique.

Incidents: 10,000 spectators at the Wukesong Sport Center in Beijing. First semifinal corresponding to the World Cup.

Semifinals: Spain, 95-Australia, 88 and Argentina-France (14:00, Four).

Final: Spain-? (Sunday, 2:00 PM, Four).

Third and fourth place: Australia-? (Sunday, 10:00, Four).

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