FIBA World Cup 2019 final: Argentina vs Spain - match preview & predictions
Fixture: Argentina vs Spain
Date & Time: Monday 15th September - 8:00 AM (ET)/5:30 PM (IST)
Venue: Wukesong Sports Arena, Beijing
Last game result
Argentina: 80-66 victory over France (September 13th)
Spain: 95-88 victory over Australia (September 13th)
Spain took care of the mighty Aussies in what was a double-OT thriller to book a ticket for the final. In what is being regarded as one of the better games in FIBA history, the Spanish giants fought tooth-and-nail for a gritty win over Patty Mills and his uber-talented Australian side to win their semi-final. Heading into the World Cup final, Rubio & co. would be brimming with confidence, having guaranteed a silver medal at the very least.
On the other hand, the Argentines put together a fairly clinical exhibition of fundamental basketball en-route to eliminating France in the other semi-final. Both Argentina and Spain are undefeated in this tournament so far and have turned out to be equally efficient when it comes to shooting conversion from the floor.
The last time these two teams met in the World Championships was back in 2010 when Argentina registered a 86-81 victory to Spain.
Argentina - Luis Scola
The 39-year-old Luis Scola has emerged as the go-to man for the Argentina squad, displaying his basketball prowess with every passing game. Having played over 28 minutes per contest in this World Cup, the 6-foot-8 center is averaging a respectable 19.3 points and 8.1 assists per game. Moreover, his blazing 46% shooting from the deep - including 3-of-4 in two games so far - has proven to be the difference maker for his team against intimating opponents.
Spain - Marc Gasol
Marc Gasol was living under the radar, playing the facilitator role until he broke open for a 33-point performance(on 11-of-19 shooting) in the semis. His veteran presence in the paint is something that transcends the stat-sheets. He is a legit NBA seven-foot center, fully aware and competent enough in regulating offense from near the rim.
The 34-year-old NBA Champion is averaging an impressive 14.4 points and 5.3 boards across the seven games played so far, and looks sharp as ever heading into the gold medal game.
Predicted starting lineups
Argentina: Facundo Campazzo, Luis Scola, Nicolas Brussino, Marcos Delia, Patricio Garino
Spain: Rudy Fernandez, Ricky Rubio, Victor Claver, Marc Gasol, Juancho Hernangomez
Built across multiple quality matchups, Argentina's resoluteness is admirably unwavering. However, Spain's one-two punch of Rubio-Gasol will be a menace for the Argentines. As a unit, Spain are a tad bit better than their opponents on paper as well as on the court.