Basketball

Spain's Marc Gasol claims rare NBA-World Cup double

Three-time All-Star Marc Gasol became only the second man to win an NBA crown and the World Cup in the same year after Spain brushed aside Argentina 95-75 yesterday.

Spain, who survived double overtime against Australia to reach the final, led throughout in Beijing to win international basketball's biggest prize a second time.

The only previous occasion was in 2006 with the two Gasol brothers, Marc and older sibling Pau, on the team. Pau did not feature in China because of injury.

The latest triumph was particularly sweet for the 34-year-old centre Gasol, who three months ago also played a key part in the Toronto Raptors' run to the NBA title.

Gasol, who had 14 points, seven rebounds and seven assists, joins Lamar Odom, a double winner in 2010 with the United States and Los Angeles Lakers.

In the third-place play-off, France roared back after half-time to defeat Australia 67-59 and claim a second World Cup bronze in a row - and extend the Boomers' long wait for a major medal. - AFP

Basketball