The FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 will come to a close with the huge matchup with Spain and Argentina in today’s Final. Spain are back to the title game after 13, while Argentina will contest their first Final in 17 years.
Both teams already know the feeling of lifting the trophy in front of a packed arena. Argentina pulled it off in 1950, during the inaugural edition of the World Cup, while Spain love playing in Asia, where they captured the crown in 2006, in Japan.
Spain stormed through Guangzhou, Wuhan, Shanghai to reach Beijing. Argentina’s path took them to Wuhan, Foshan and Dongguan, as they are ready to go a step further than in 2002. It was 17 years ago that Argentina last appeared in the championship game, when they lost to FR Yugoslavia in overtime in Indianapolis.
Team Overview – Spain: The old saying that offense wins games, but defense wins championships could be used once again here. Spain have held their opponents to 69.2 points per game, and that’s the number if you include the 88 points Australia scored against them in 50 minutes of basketball. Sergio Scariolo and his staff have done an outstanding defensive job in this event. Just for comparison, Spain held opponents to 66.5 points per game when they won the Cup in Japan in 2006.
Team Overview – Argentina: Both Spain and Argentina have reached the Final with perfect records, and Argentina stood their ground against Korea, Nigeria, Russia, Venezuela, Poland, Serbia and France. Luis Scola is the main story here, leading the team as a 39-year-old, but keep your eye on elite passing from all over the court, led by Facundo Campazzo and Nicolas Laprovittola. Sharing the ball will be key against the Spanish defense in the last 40 (or more) minutes in China.