Spain bounced back from a disappointing loss in the opening day of the EuroBasket Men 2013 second round by scoring an impressive 82-56 win over Finland on Saturday in Ljubljana, Slovenia.
Spain, who are coming from a 79-75 loss to Greece, had a slow start, but they still managed to take an 18-15 lead after the first period.
The defending champions shifted to next gear towards the end of the second period, a performance that was punctuated by a three-pointer from Spanish guard Victor Claver that gave Spain a 42-30 lead at the half.
The half-time break did not slow down the Spanish squad as they led by as much as 17 points halfway through the third period. Spain never looked back and did not let the Finnish squad get back on track until the final buzzer sounded.
“We were coming off a loss and at the beginning it’s always a bit more difficult, but I think the team was serious throughout and after that point we found our game,” said Spain forward Alex Mumbru in a FIBA interview after the game.
Jose Calderon led the offensive attack of the Iberian side with his 23 points and five assists, while Claver finished with 12 points and seven rebounds. Rudy Fernandez and Marc Gasol, the top two leading scorers of Spain, added just six points apiece.
Spain had a terrific shooting night, tallying a 51.7 percent clip from the field, while limiting Finland to just 32.3 shooting from the field. They also dominated the rebounding battle, grabbing a total of 43 rebounds compared to the 28 boards of the Finnish side.
“No doubt that Spain is the better team; we were looking to have Christmas, but there was no Christmas today,” said Finland coach Henrik Dettmann after the game.
Spain will look to sustain the momentum when they go up against Italy on Monday, while Finland will try to bounce back against tournament host Slovenia.