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Spain, champions of the world

World Champions
World Champions / EFE
  • The national team, coached by Marbella resident Sergio Scariolo, brought the country its second basketball world cup victory on Sunday after they beat Argentina in China

Spain are basketball champions of the world for the second time after they beat Argentina 95-75 in the World Cup final in Shanghai on Sunday.

The victory comes 13 years after the country's first World Cup win in Japan 2006. This time the success was less expected as Spain had not started the competition in China as favourites and struggled to get through the first rounds. The absence through injury of Pau Gasol was not, in the end, the handicap that would keep Spain from reaching the top.

Powerful players

Spain were ahead throughout the game, stretching their lead to 22 at one point. Thanks to the excellent attacking from players such as NBA stars Ricky Rubio and Marc Gasol, as well as Real Madrid's Sergio Llull, the Spanish players kept their heads when Argentina got the difference down to 12, finishing a clear 20 points ahead.

And when Spain's play weakened temporarily in attack strong defenders such as Víctor Claver, Rudy Fernández, Pau Ribas and Pierre Oriola were able to hold their rivals off.

Ricky Rubio was named MVP (Most Valuable Player) after the final.

Sergio Scariolo.

Sergio Scariolo. / EFE

Scariolo, the best Spanish coach

The World Cup is another trophy for coach Sergio Scariolo who guided the Toronto Raptors to win the NBA ring also this year. The Italian, who lives in Marbella, also took Spain through their three European championship titles in 2009, 2011 and 2015, as well as two Olympic medals - silver in London 2012 and bronze in Rio 2016.

After returning to Spain on Monday the Spanish players were due to be received by acting prime minister Pedro Sánchez as well as King Felipe and Queen Letizia.