USA Set To Close Tour Versus #2 World Power Spain
FIBA's No. 1 And 2 World Powers To Clash Tuesday In BarcelonaBarcelona, Spain • July 25, 2012
Having compiled a 4-0 record after earning wins over the Dominican Republic (July 12 / 113-59); Brazil (July 16 / 80-69); Great Britain (July 19 / 118-78) and Argentina (July 22 / 86-80) during its 2012 National Team tour, the USA Men´s National Basketball Team conclude their '12 tour facing FIBA's No. 2 ranked world power Spain Tuesday (4:30 p.m. EDT) in front of a sold-out Palau Sant Jordi crowd in Barcelona, Spain.
"We’re obviously excited about the game," said USA mentor Mike Krzyzewski following the USA victory Sunday night over Argentina. "Playing against Spain, a championship-level team, World champs in 2006, silver medalist in Beijing … They’re just one of the top teams. It gives us the opportunity before the Olympics to play the toughest game that we could play which should help us in our preparation."
The USA-Spain exhibition is the first matchup between FIBA’s No. 1 and 2 world powers since the two national teams squared off in 2010 in an exhibition game in Madrid, Spain. The USA, in preparation for the 2010 FIBA World Championship, pulled out a narrow 86-85 win in the friendly.
In that last meeting, the 2010 USA National squad fought through adversity and fended off a second half attack to edge host and the defending world champion Spain team 86-85 on Aug. 22, 2010, inside the Magic Box in Madrid, Spain. Playing in a raucous stadium filled to its 10,960 capacity, the USA’s charge was led by Kevin Durant, who posted game-highs of 25 points and 10 boards, and also had a pair of key blocks in the closing seconds. Also in double digits for the U.S. were Derrick Rose, 13 points; Lamar Odom, 12 points and nine boards; and Chauncey Billups, 10 points.
The last official FIBA competition between the two squads came in the 2008 Olympic gold medal game. In a down-to-the wire game that has been described as one of the greatest international games ever played, the USA fought off the determined Spaniards 118-107 to earn gold at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Two years earlier, while the U.S. finished third at the 2006 FIBA World Championship after being stopped by Greece (101-95) in the semifinals, the Spaniards defeated Greece 70-47 in the gold medal game to claim the ’06 World Championship title.
Spain, currently ranked No. 2 in the world by FIBA, won the 2009 and 2011 EuroBasket titles, placed sixth in the 2010 FIBA World Championship, earned the silver medal in Beijing at the 2008 Olympic Games and won gold at the 2006 FIBA World Championship in Japan.
Since NBA players became eligible to participate in FIBA competitions, the USA has compiled a 5-1 win-loss record versus Spanish national teams in official FIBA competitions.
USA vs. Spain (in FIBA events with NBA players since 1992)
2008 Olympics (Gold Medal Game / 8/24/08): USA 118, Spain 107
2008 Olympics (Second Round / 8/16/08): USA 119, Spain 82
2004 Olympics (Quarterfinals / 8/26/04): USA 102, Spain 94
2002 World Championship (5th/6th Place / 9/07/02): Spain 81, USA 76
1994 World Championship (Preliminary / 8/04/94): USA 115, Spain 100
1992 Olympics (Preliminary / 8/02/92): USA 122, Spain 81
USA Basketball National Teams comprised of NBA players are also 2-0 versus Spain in exhibition action. The USA nipped Spain 86-85 in a friendly in 2010 held in Madrid prior to the start of the 2010 FIBA World Championship and the USA defeated Spain 95-66 in the opening game of the Super Dream Games 2000 in Saitama, Japan.
The USA team is scheduled to arrive in London for the 2012 Olympic Games on July 26, and open play July 29 versus France in a 2:30 p.m. (local London time) game.