Spain opens the Olympic Games with victory over Japan

The Spanish basketball team has started its journey at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games with a 77-88 victory over the hosts with a spectacular Ricky Rubio. The Minnesota Timberwolves guard has thrown the team behind him with 20 points and 9 assists, and an outstanding 8 of 12 at pitching.

Along with him, the new Valencia Basket player, Víctor Claver, made a sensational performance on both sides of the court. The forward contributed 13 points, 9 rebounds and 1 steal with a perfect 6/6 shooting from the field and a great defense over Rui Hachimura.

In the Japanese, his two NBA players led the attack by coach Julio Lamas. The aforementioned Hachimura was the maximum exponent with 20 points; followed by his teammate Yuta Watanabe with 19 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists and 5 steals.

Sergio Scariolo’s men suffered more than expected, especially in the third period when they conceded 28 points, the same points as in the entire first half. But there was Ricky to put order on the floor and register a +27 on the track in the 21 minutes he had.

It should be noted that Ricky’s 9 assists is the second best mark for a Spanish player in the Olympic Games after Nacho Solozábal with 10 in the 1984 Chinese Olympics, according to data from journalist Alberto de Roa.

Imperial Pau at 41

The wait has been worth it after almost two years in the dry dock due to an injury, but Pau Gasol was able to play the fifth Olympic Games of his sports career after Athens 2004, Beijing 2008, London 2012 and Rio de Janeiro 2016.

The FC Barcelona pivot started from the second unit to replace his brother Marc to add 9 points, 4 rebounds and 2 blocks with a perfect 4/4 in field shots. And what is more important, with the same enthusiasm and the same enthusiasm as when he made his debut in the ACB as a kid. The oldest of the Gasols was imposing in defense, gave constant instructions to his team and did not allow them to relax at any time.

Other highlights

Spain: Marc Gasol and Álex Abrines would also reach double-digit scoring with 12 and 11 points respectively.

Those of Scariolo reaped 52.9% in field goals, but obtained a poor 8 of 28 in triples (28.6%), a task to improve in the next two games against Argentina and Slovenia where the classification will be played to the next phase.

Japan: Between Hachimura and Watanabe they connected 13/32 in field goals and 6/14 in triples. The Wizards finished with a 4/11 from long distance. On the other hand, his teammate Yudai Baba (10), from Melbourne United of Australia, also added double-digit scoring.

(Cover photo: Gregory Shamus / .)

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