It was just too much Pau Gasol and Marc Gasol for Team Canada to handle and even a great game from the Spurs Cory Joseph wasn’t going to stop Spain from easily winning this contest. Spain raced out to a 16-5 lead in the first 5 minutes and never looked back in the 82-70 win that somewhat disguised just how dominant the Spanish team was on Wednesday in Coruna, Spain.
The four Spanish big men of Pau Gasol, Marc Gasol, Serge Ibaka and Felipe Reyes scored 62 points while shooting 62.8 percent from the field as they outmuscled the Canadians whenever they chose to and completely dominated the contest at both ends of the court. The only thing slowing Spain down at all was the extremely poor shooting from their guards and wings who had absolutely no reason to not be feeding the ball to one of their big men on every play.
Pau Gasol and Ibaka combined to shoot 4-5 from three-point range while the rest of the team bricked 1-14. Even the two-point shots were not falling for the guards and wings as the four big men shot 18-30 while everyone else combined for a terrible 5-18.
Starting NBA point guards Jose Calderon (1-5 shooting) and Ricky Rubio (1-9 shooting) combined to score just 9 points for Spain.
Pau Gasol led all scorers with 20 points in less than 20 minutes. Marc Gasol and Ibaka contributed 15 points each and the veteran FIBA star Reyes scored 12 points in 12.5 minutes.
Canada deserves credit for not giving up in this contest as Spain enjoyed a 22 point lead midway through the second quarter and put this game on cruise control from there. It could have easily become an ugly blowout, but the overmatched Canadians outworked the more talented Spaniards to make a game of it.
Joseph came up huge with 19 points, 2 rebounds, 4 assists, a steal and a block as Head Coach Jay Triano made the unusual move of keeping his starting point guard in the game for over 33 minutes.
The Celtics Kelly Olynyk had his hands full guarding Spain’s big men and fouled out in 17.3 minutes after collecting 8 points and 8 boards. Magic forward Andrew Nicholson gave Canada a much needed stretch-four as he made 3-9 three-point attempts for 13 points. Cavaliers hopeful Dwight Powell had 8 points and 8 rebounds in 13.7 minutes before picking up his fourth foul.
Canada was charged with 24 personal fouls to just 14 by Spain and that accurately reflected just how much trouble the Canadians were having trying to contain their more skilled and experienced opponents.
Guard Brady Heslip continues to show he can bring scoring punch off the bench as he netted 11 points for Canada.
There was a big crowd in Coruna to watch Canada face off against their National team and this was a great test for the Canadians as they continue to prepare for next summer’s important Olympic qualifying tournament.
Full box score can be found here: pic.twitter.com/vWcgP7ZVoM
— Canada Basketball (@CanBball) August 6, 2014