Pau Gasol led Spain to yet another win by scoring 17 points on 8-10 shooting against a Senegal team that held their own for the first quarter at least, before being blown away from then on. Spain's dominance inside the arc ultimately led to Senegal's downfall as Spain scored their 2 point attempts at will, knocking down an impressive 27-36 on 2 pointers. Pau Gasol added 5 rebounds, 1 assist and 3 blocks to his stat sheet despite not appearing on the court for any of the 4th quarter.
Another solid game from Marc Gasol saw him finish with 9 points on 4-4 shooting from the field, 6 rebounds, and an impressive 4 blocks as he helped to hold Gorgui Dieng to just 6 points, Deing shot just 1-9 on field goal attempts with Gasol shutting him down in the paint. Marc was also distributing the ball fantastically all night and finished the game with 3 assists. If Marc can bring this form back to Memphis with him for the start of the new season Grizzlies fans will be in for a real treat next year.
Yet another great performance from Ricky Rubio would see him finish with 9 points, 5 rebounds, 6 assists, 5 steals, and 1 great block on Dalmedia as he attempted a layup in the second quarter. Next season for the Timberwolves will see Rubio become the out and out team leader of a very young side, but after what we have seen him achieve in this world cup I think Minnesota are in very good hands with Rubio leading them. If only he could add a midrange game to his arsenal I believe Rubio would go on to become one of the superstars of the NBA.
Jose Calderon, Filipe Reyes and Serge Ibaka all chipped in with 11 points off the bench for Spain, with Calderon hitting 3-4 from behind the arc and Serge blocking 3 shots.
Spain shot 56.7% from the field to Senegal's 35%. Whilst Senegal out rebounded Spain 38-33. The Spaniards finished the game with 20 assists, 9 steals and a very impressive 13 blocks.
Mouhammad Faye and Abou Badji both scored 12 points for Senegal. 9 of Faye's 12 points came in the first half. But we didn't really see much of him in the second half. Which was a bit disappointing as he was shooting the ball superbly in the first quarter, making some very tough, contested shots.
Spain started the first quarter with Pau scoring a jump hook which was the start of a 6-0 run for Spain. Rubio scored 4 of his 9 points during this run, 2 of which came when he inbounded the ball to Pau, he then made a run into the paint where Pau slips him the ball to finish with the layup.
A Mouhammad Faye midrange J gave Senegal their first points of the game before Rubio lobs an alley oop up for Pau Gasol to finish with the dunk. Pau gets fouled on the dunk and makes the resulting free throw.
Rubio and Pau seemed to be telepathic in the first quarter. If you didn't see their performance you missed out on some great plays. Rubio found Pau with another alley oop which he once again slammed down. He would also find Pau in the paint with a great outlet pass from inside his own half which Pau finished by laying the ball in from under the rim.
Marc Gasol would then block Dieng at the rim, Rubio picks up the loose ball, runs the court and feeds Pau for yet another layup.
Spain were leading 23-17 after the first quarter.
Senegal open the second quarter playing zone defence after going man to man in the first.
Early in the second Rudy Fernandez steals the ball mid court and goes on to finish with a dunk to give Spain an 11 point lead, which was their highest of the game to this point.
Abou Badji then scored two buckets in quick succession to cut the lead to 6 before Llull hits a three pointer from 5 feet behind the line.
Ibaka would then record 2 blocks in quick succession with some great rim protection which included a block on Deing.
Near the end of the half Marc showed off his great midrange game with a high arching shot over Thomas. On the following play Rubio makes a great block on Dalmadia's layup attempt. Rubio then gets fouled and goes to the line to give Spain their last 2 points of the quarter which gives them a 41-28 lead going in at the half.
At the half Spain were 15-16 on field goals from inside the three point line and had recorded 7 steals and 8 blocks.
Pau led the way for Spain with 15 points, whilst Marc had 5 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 blocks.
Faye was leading Senegal with 9 points on 4-4 shooting.
Senegal start the second half with a shot clock violation before Ndiaye picks up 2 personal fouls in a matter of seconds. They then foul again to pick up their third team foul in the opening minute of the quarter.
Marc then finds Pau with a great pass into the paint which Pau finishes to give Marc his third and final assist of the night.
With 6:47 left on the clock Senegal get their first point of the second half when Ndiaye gets fouled on the shot and makes 1-2 from the free throw line.
Rubio then finds Rudy Fernandez for the open three. Then Marc gets in on the act by hitting an open three of his own to put Spain up by 22.
Down the other end and Ndour has the ball in the corner. Rudy Fernandez swipes at the ball and commits the foul. Ndour turns and pushes Rudy away much to the displeasure of the Spanish fans who go on to boo and jeer every time he touches the ball for the remainder of the game.
With 6 minutes gone off the clock in the second half Gorgui Dieng gets his first 2 points of the game when he finishes at the rim. I was hoping for a bigger night from Gorgui after he had averaged 18 points and 11 rebounds in the group stage. But he had difficulties all night when being defended by Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka.
Filipe Reyes hits a floater in the lane with the last play of the quarter to give Spain a 62-43 lead.
We didn't see much of Spain's starters in the 4th quarter, but Marc did record his third block by swatting away a shot from Dieng right at the rim. He would then block Dieng again before leaving the game. Dieng must have been delighted to finally see the back of Big Spain after spending most of the night with Marc's palm right in his face.
With 2 minutes left the Spanish fans started doing Mexican waves to celebrate victory being sealed, as if it was ever in doubt.
A great play by Spain to finish off the game as Abrines finds Rodriguez with the alley oop who duly obliges and finishes with a nice jam.
Final score: Spain 89-56 Senegal
Yet another fantastic performance from Spain, they will now play France on the 10th September for a place in the semi finals.
If Spain can keep up this kind of performance in the paint I think they have the ability to cause USA some real problems if and when they meet in the final. I don't see USA being able to handle Serge and the Gasol brothers for 40 minutes. I'm not saying Spain will go out and win the game, but I think it will be a game which could go either way.
Hold onto your hats, it's going to be a good one.