Spain Take Silver In Final For The Ages

12 August 2012
Pau Gasol goes up against Tyson Chandler in the London Olympics final - 2012, Spain
Pau Gasol posting up against Tyson Chandler in the London Olympics final - the center, as the entire Spanish team, put in a monumental performance against the USA

Spain threw a scare into the United States for the second Olympics in a row but came up short and lost, 107-100 in Sunday's title game in London.

The Spaniards, after a red-hot shooting start by the USA from long range, kept the game close thanks to Juan Carlos Navarro, who had 19 first-half points.

They led in the third quarter but the Americans went on a run at the beginning of the fourth and won by seven points.

"No one can have any complaints about our group," said Navarro, the MVP of last year's EuroBasket in Lithuania.

"I think we will value this silver medal in the future. We were in the game for 38 minutes but Team USA are very talented.

"They can go on a 10-0 run and win the game. They have a great team."

Spain center Pau Gasol had 24 points and his brother, Marc, scored 17 despite picking up four fouls in the first half.

"Our aim was to win, not just show a good image," Marc Gasol said.

Now there are questions about who will remain with the team through the 2016 Olympics.

"There will be players that this will be their last Olympics," he said.

"Some players need to rest. There will never be another Pau, a Navarro. There's a mixture of talent and personality that's unique."

Russia Take Bronze

Russia on the podium celebrating bronze at the 2012 London Olympics
Russia players posing on the podium for professional photographer Alexey Shved, who also had 25 points in the bronze-medal game

Russia captured bronze at the Olympic men's tournament in Sunday's first thrilling game in London.

Alexey Shved had 25 points, including a go-ahead three-ball with 37 seconds left, as Russia edged Argentina, 81-77, in the battle for a place on the podium.

Andrei Kirilenko also poured in 20 points for the Russians.

After the victory, Kirilenko said: "We have good composure and other teams don't like to play us.

"That's what I know."

Asked if he felt that David Blatt would decide to continue coaching or finish his spell at the helm of Russia, Kirilenko said: "He knows. I definitely want him to stay. Why should I not? Look at our results. We won gold in 2007, bronze in 2011 (both EuroBaskets) and now bronze here."

Kirilenko and Shved, teammates at CSKA Moscow last season, will play for the Minnesota Timberwolves in 2012-13.



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