Olympic basketball: Spain storms into final (Lead)August 11th, 2012 - 4:58 am ICT by IANS
London, Aug 11 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Spain defeated Russia 67-59 in a comeback victory in the Olympic men’s basketball semifinal Friday.
Russia led for the first three quarters, but Spain’s three-point shooting and inspiring play by the Gasol brothers proved enough to bring them back into contention.
Los Angeles Lakers centre Pau Gasol top-scored, making a double-double with 16 points and 12 rebounds.
Pau Gasol said: “The biggest difference wasn’t the intelligence, but our heart. We are very proud of all of our teammates.”
Russia took the lead from the start and three three-pointers from Sergey Monya increased it to 13 points by the middle of the second quarter.
Spain evened the score by the end of the third quarter, helped by five three-pointers of their own.
The Spaniards dominated in the last quarter with Marc Gasol racking up eight points and two assists to grab a spectacular win.
In the final, Spain will face either reigning Olympic champion US or Argentina.
“They made some crazy three-point shots. I don’t know what we did well, they just started shooting,” Minnesota Timberwolves and Russia point guard Alexey Shved said.
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Tags: alexey shved, assists, comeback victory, contention, last quarter, los angeles lakers, minnesota timberwolves, monya, olympic basketball, olympic champion, olympic men, pau gasol, point shots, pointers, rebounds, ria novosti, second quarter, spaniards, teammates, three quarters