Pulse.ng logo

Spain star Pau Gasol laments 'painful' defeat at FIBA Basketball World Cup

Pau Gasol said concentration was to blame for Spain's shock exit from the FIBA Basketball World Cup on a painful night for the hosts.

  • Published: , Refreshed:

Spain's World Cup campaign came to an abrupt end in the quarter-finals on Wednesday after they were upstaged by European champions France 65-52.

Expected to challenge favourites United States for top honours, Spain were bundled out in Madrid after being outscored 23-9 in the final quarter.

Gasol, who finished with a game-high 17 points and eight rebounds, said Spain lacked focus and intensity against the French.

"We had high expectations, we had a great tournament, but it was not our night," Gasol said post-game.

"We did not play well, we lost and we were not up to the challenge. The preparation has been the same as always but we lacked the concentration of each individual.

"It's a disappointing painful defeat. They dominated the boards, statistical rebound [differential] is very large."

France collected 50 rebounds to Spain's 28.

With the World Cup now set to be held every five years, in order to stage the tournament away from the FIFA World Cup, time appears to be ticking on Gasol's international future.

Veteran Gasol will be 39 years old by the time the next World Cup comes around, however the new Chicago Bulls recruit hinted at continuing on.

"You never know when will be the last game, hopefully I can play until 50 but I doubt it," the 34-year-old NBA star added.

"I love playing for my country, but nothing is guaranteed. Great young players will come and selection will continue to be strong."

Meanwhile, Boris Diaw said France were motivated by their underdog tag, having been given little chance of beating the Spaniards after tasting defeat to them during the group stage.

"It was not easy, everyone told us and repeated that we could not beat Spain at home," said Diaw, who finished with 15 points.

"We had to ignore all that and I think that [made] all of us even more motivated. But it was a special motivation, not to win but not to lose.

"I told them repeatedly to believe and have no regrets at the end of the game, to give everything, to fight [for] each other on the floor."

Do you ever witness news or have a story that should be featured on Pulse Nigeria?
Submit your stories, pictures and videos to us now via WhatsApp: +2349055172167, Social Media @pulsenigeria247: #PulseEyewitness & DM or Email: eyewitness@pulse.ng. More information here.