|Sergio Rodriguez had 29 points, 9 rebounds and 7 assists|
An MVP show from Sergio Rodriguez launched Spain to the Semi-Finals on Russia’s account this evening. The host team will have to leap over Italy first if it wants to perform in front of its fans in the final game on Sunday night however. Russia will play for the 5-8 place games against Greece.
Russia showed up for the game without its head-coach who had to stay at the hotel for health reasons, while Spain looked healthier than ever. Sergio Rodriguez had 29 points, 9 rebounds and 7 assists in one of the best performances, if not the best, of a single player in this Championship. Antelo added 30 points and 6 rebounds. Spain easily dominated the boards and took 23 rebounds more than Russia (55-32) – in case anyone needed another example for way Spain won by 20 points.
Another unbelievable assist by Sergio Rodriguez lifted Spain for an early 10-5 lead. Russia did what it does best – run, and Kourbanov with another great dunk made it a 14-14 tie with 1:30 minutes to play in the first quarter. Antelo, who had a terrific first half with 17 points, made sure Spain finished the first 10 minutes leading by 1 point, 17-16.
100k | 500k
100k | 500k
It took Spain 3 minutes to register its first 2nd half points, and by then Russia had already scored 5 in a row. Shabalkin opened with a 3 pointer and Russia made it’s way back to the game. Or so it seemed. Not for Sergio Rodriguez. With 2 more dazzling assists he pushed Spain for a 12-0 run and a 20 point lead, 64-44, with 3 minutes to play in the 3rd. Rodriguez continued with its stunning show and Spain stepped into the 3rd quarter with a 19 point lead, 69-50.
Down by 17, 76-59, Russia made its last effort for a comeback. The Russian coach called for a timeout and sent in his soldiers to fight for survival. Zavoruev with a 4 point play brought his team to 78-65, then added another 3 pointer, to make it a 10 point game, but after Kourbanov fouled out Spain took off with an 8-1 run, and sealed the deal.