02 August 2012
Silvia Cofreces / Translation by Tridiom
Spain was seeking its third victory in the Olympic Games to maintain their unbeaten record on their way to the quarter-finals. They managed it, but not without unnecessary suffering toward the end of the match against Great Britain (79-78). Scariolo's team started out well, always ahead with ten-point advantages, but little by little their laid-back play encouraged the British players, who ended up putting intense pressure on the Spain team right up until the last second. Rudy Fernández gave the best performance of the Real Madrid players with nine points and seven assists. Sergio Llull scored five points and Felipe Reyes four in his 186th cap playing for the national team. Segio Rodríguez gave a great performance with his assists.
Spain went into their match against Great Britain with the added motivation of looking to have the dominance they lacked in their first quarters against China and Australia. Fighting hard, they achieved their aim thanks to their great inside play and intense defence, finishing the first quarter 24-15 in their favor. Rudy Fernández contributed with his speed and his five points. However, the Real Madrid players' best moments were in the second quarter with some spectacular plays by Sergio Rodríguez and Sergio Llull, who paired up well.
Spain continued to dominate the game, always ten points ahead and controlling both the offensive and defensive rebounds. But in the third quarter, Spain took the pressure off. They maintained their lead on the scoreboard, but they dropped their speed, intensity and, to a certain extent, their threat to their rivals. Scariolo's players continued along the same lines in the last quarter and the British team took advantage with impeccable skill. Freeland made it 71-69 and with only 17 seconds to go the scoreboard read 77-75. Luol Deng made it 79-78 with four seconds left on the clock and the score remained at that. It’s Spain's third victory with an outstanding Rudy Fernández scoring nine points and assisting seven times. Felipe Reyes played his 186th cap for the national team, which positions him in sixth place on the ranking, equaling Andrés Jiménez's record. Spain's next Olympic game is against Russia on Saturday at 11:15.
Pocius performed very well for Lithuania, but couldn't prevent defeat to France
Real Madrid's shooting guard, Martynas Pocius, was once again key to Lithuania's performance, although he couldn't prevent the 82-74 defeat to Tony Parker's French team. Pocius came on when his team needed him and scored 13 points in a row without a miss, pushing Lithuania ahead on the scoreboard in the second quarter. The shooting guard was his team's top-scorer with 18 points (four out of six three-point attempts), but his team clocked up their second loss in three matches and will have to play the U.S.A. and Tunisia to go through to the quarter-finals.