|09 August 2011|
|Pau Gasol did not score 28 points on Tuesday night, like in the EuroBasket 2009 quarter-final between the two sides, but France must have felt a sense of déjà vu|
It was just a friendly, but Spain reminded France they are a very different team when Pau Gasol is in the line-up.
Gasol, the EuroBasket 2009 MVP and the player the French couldn't stop in the teams' Quarter-Final showdown two years ago that Spain won 86-66, had a game-high 19 points to lead his country to a 77-53 romp over Les Bleus in Almeria on Tuesday.
Playing alongside his brother Marc as twin towers in the starting five, the elder Gasol dominated.
He skipped last year's FIBA World Championship to take a well deserved break but has returned to the national side and looked as good as ever as Spain won their first friendly of the summer.
Sergio Scariolo's side delivered a first-half knockout with a 19-4 first-half run.
By half-time, they had a 45-21 stranglehold on the game.
Marc Gasol finished with seven points while both Juan Carlos Navarro and Serge Ibaka contributed nine apiece.
France had Joakim Noah back, following his spell in the United States where he had to receive treatment for ankle injury, and the center had six points.
Point guard Tony Parker led the French with 15 points.
Tuesday was the farewell game for Rafa Martinez and Xavi Rey, who have been let go by Scariolo.
Martinez had two points and Rey didn't score.
Spain will play in Group A at the EuroBasket against Turkey, hosts Lithuania, Great Britain, Poland and a team that comes through the Additional Qualifying Round.
France will compete in Group B against Serbia, Israel, Latvia, Germany and Italy.