Follow FIBA on Facebook
Spain win Bronze to send Navarro off in style
ISTANBUL (FIBA EuroBasket 2017) - Spain overcame a gallant Russia 93-85 to win bronze and send retiring captain Juan Carlos Navarro off in style.
Turning point: After trailing by 17 points midway through the third, Russia fought back gamely and capitalized on Spain's sloppiness with the ball. Russia continued their fight deep into the fourth, trailing 83-79 with under two minutes left with Spain without Ricky Rubio who earlier in the quarter was ejected after receiving his second unsportsmanlike foul. However, Vitaly Fridzon badly missed a three-pointer that would have cut the deficit to one and Spain scored on the other end to restore their momentum.
Stats-don't-lie: Russia dominated from deep, which kept them in the contest, but Spain's size and domination inside proved too much - as highlighted by a convincing 38-27 edge in rebounds.
Game hero: In possibly his final FIBA EuroBasket game, Pau Gasol was brilliant for Spain. He dominated the second quarter when his brother Marc was injured and stepped up when Spain was challenged in the last quarter, where he scored 12 of his 26 points. He also had 10 rebounds and 3 blocks.
They said: "I am really proud of my team after losing in the Semi-Finals to get this success. I am proud of finishing my career with a medal. (I feel) both sadness and happiness. How it finished makes me happy. Maybe the 2006 World Cup is the proudest moment but every year is important and you learn something." - Spain captain Juan Carlos Navarro after his final international game.
"They (Spain) know how to play big games and they showed this in the first-half. We were a little slow, maybe my motivational speech was too long for the players. It was a tough journey from the beginning. I hope we will be better after this tournament." - Russia coach Sergey Bazarevich after his team finished fourth.
Spain led by double digits for much of the game on the back of a dominant second quarter by Pau Gasol, with his brother sidelined due to injury. The 37-year-old had 12 points, 4 rebounds and 2 blocks during the quarter to give Spain a sizable 17-point half-time lead.
However, a more rounded Russia - not totally reliant on star Aleksei Shved - stormed back into the contest late in the third quarter and kept that momentum in the last.
Russia got within a single possession late but Spain hung on to ensure their captain's international career ended with a medal. After shrugging aside the disappointment of losing in the Semi-Finals, Spain recorded their sixth consecutive medal at FIBA EuroBasket.
Marc Gasol missed the second quarter because of a leg injury but came back and finished with 25 points, while Shved scored 18 points in his only sub-20 point game of the tournament.