Wednesday 19th December 2018,

Spain and Their NBA Stars Are Struggling in Rio


Coming into the Rio Olympics, the only team that was viewed as having any real shot to put a scare into the U.S. Men’s Olympic team was the Spanish National Team.

Boasting an abundance of NBA talent and high level European experience and having lost to the Americans in the gold medal game in 2008 and 2012, the Spaniards came into the Rio games as big favorites.

They have 10 players who have, are currently, or will play in the NBA such as Pau Gasol, Ricky Rubio, Nikola Mirotic, Alex Abrines and Jose Calderon.

They are 0-2 so far in pool play, losing at the buzzer to Team Croatia (featuring Bojan Bogdanovic, Mario Hezonja and Dario Saric) and to Team Brazil (LeAndro Barbosa, Nene, Christiano Felicio, Marcelinho Huertas).

Here is the game saving block by Dario Saric to preserve a 72-70 victory in Game 1:

Here is the game winning tip-in by Marqus Marquinhos for Brazil to pull of a 66-65 upset victory on Tuesday:

Spain has three group phase games left but two of those are against two other traditional Olympic powers in Argentina and Lithuania. There is a real chance they go 1-4 or 2-3 and miss the tournament play all together as four out of the 6 teams in their group will make the quarterfinal round.

The Spainards are minus one Gasol brother in Marc as he recovers from a foot injury, but there is a real chance one of the world’s power houses and Team USA’s anticipated biggest competition could miss the quarterfinal round for first time since 2000.

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