Spain Back On Track With Finland Win

14 September 2013

EUROBASKET 2013

Turning Point: Spain picked up where they'd left off just before the break and used an 8-0 run at the start of the third quarter to extend their lead to 20 points, 50-30, on a Sergio Rodriguez lay-up in transition with 5:49 left to play in the period.
Game Hero: Jose Calderon put on his shooting guard hat once more in this tournament and provided Spain with a safe scoring option from downtown, finishing with a game-high 23 points on a brilliant five-for-seven from behind the arc whilst adding five assists.
Stats Don't Lie: The two teams committed an equal number of turnovers (12) during the first 30 minutes but while Spain punished the Finns by scoring 18 points from them, Finland only got six points. Spain also dominated the boards and scored 20 second chance points compared to Finland's four.

8. José Calderón (Spain)
José Calderón was the main instigator in Spain's victory, picking up 23 points on five-for-seven downtown shooting

Spain recovered from their loss on the opening day of Group F action by keeping a lid on gutsy Finland and picking up an 82-56 win, their first in EuroBasket 2013 Second Round.

There was little to separate the two teams or suggest that Spain would make a clean break soon during the first quarter, as Petteri Koponen got the hot hand early and scored all of Finland's first nine points.

Spain were up 18-15 after the opening period but only managed to shake off their somewhat persistent opponents late in the second.

"We were coming off a loss and at the beginning it's always a bit more difficult, but I think the team was serious throughout and after that point we found our game," Spain's Alex Mumbru said afterwards.

Ricky Rubio sunk a jumper from the top of the key 4:33 from the half-time buzzer to make it 28-24 and with 1:57 on the clock then a Xavi Rey lay-up gave Spain their first double-digit lead, 37-26.

Finland had shot 15 triples, converting four, and had attempted just 13 two-points shots at that point.

On the last possession in the first half, Calderon run down the clock and kicked out to Victor Claver who drilled a trey with eight seconds on the clock to send Spain ahead 32-20 at the interval.

"It was an uncomfortable rival, they stayed in the game by hitting threes early on but everyone on the team took a step forward in intensity, we got many points from players also off the bench, and our intensity kept increasing," said Claver after the game.

Spain's burst early in the third quarter effectively killed off the game, as Finland for all their efforts would never bring back the gap to single-digit levels and Spain even widened the lead late in the fourth.

"No doubt that Spain is the better team; we were looking to have Christmas, but there was no Christmas today," said Finland head coach Henrik Dettmann in summing up afterwards.

"We maintain our confidence, it is very clear that the only objective is to win, that is why we are here," Claver added.

"But right now we are not thinking further away than the game against Italy and we know how important it is."

 



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