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Last Updated: Sunday, 3 September 2006, 12:33 GMT 13:33 UK
Spain thump Greece to claim crown
Alex Mumbru and Jorge Garbjosa celebrate Spain's victory
Alex Mumbru and Jorge Garbjosa celebrate Spain's victory
Spain shrugged off the loss of injured star Pau Gasol to thrash Greece 70-47 and claim the World Basketball Championship title for the first time.

NBA-bound Jorge Garbajosa and Juan Carlos Navarro both scored 20 points, Garbajosa sinking six three-pointers.

It was Spain's first medal in global competition since the 1984 Olympics, and they went through the tournament undefeated, winning all nine matches.

Greece could not reproduce the form which shocked the USA in the semis.

Back-to-back three-pointers from Garbajosa blew the game open for Spain, giving them a 14-point advantage with 8:15 to go in the second quarter.

They went in at half-time leading 43-23, and the gap was still 20 points after the third quarter.

I was just super happy, I tried to contain myself crying

Injured Spain centre Pau Gasol

Greeks never threatened a late fightback and Spain comfortably completed their 18th straight win following a string of victories before the tournament.

Gasol, who led Spain in points and rebounding, broke a metatarsal in Friday's epic 75-74 semi-final win over Argentina.

The Memphis Grizzlies forward hobbled on to the court on crutches for the final and watched the game from the bench, pumping his fists and shouting encouragement.

Gasol burst into tears at the final buzzer as the Spanish celebrations began.

"It's a fantastic moment," he said. "They played extraordinary defence. It was very spectacular to watch it.

"There is great talent on this team. I was just super happy, I tried to contain myself crying.

"Not being able to be out there really hurt me. I had the pain and happiness when we beat Argentina, but it's just happiness tonight. We couldn't be any better."

Greece playmaker Theodoros Papaloukas, who scored 10 points, afterwards tried to look on the positive side.

"The only good is that if we had won, it would have been difficult to get motivated for the next competitions," he said. "Now we're still hungry."



SEE ALSO
Greece oust USA in massive upset
01 Sep 06 |  Basketball
USA beat Germany to reach semis
30 Aug 06 |  Basketball
Spain ease into world semi-finals
29 Aug 06 |  Basketball
Free-scoring USA crush Australia
27 Aug 06 |  Basketball
Lithuania edge to win over Italy
26 Aug 06 |  Basketball
China qualify with dramatic win
24 Aug 06 |  Basketball
Champions Serbia into round two
23 Aug 06 |  Basketball
China lose again as USA progress
22 Aug 06 |  Basketball
Title holders claim first victory
21 Aug 06 |  Basketball
Wade guides USA to easy success
20 Aug 06 |  Basketball
Nigeria shock Serbia & Montenegro
19 Aug 06 |  Basketball


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