|4||F. SAN EMETERIO||14||2/3||66.7||2/3||66.7||0/0||0||0/0||0||0||1||1||0||1||1||0||0||4|
|Min||Minutes played||Tot||Total rebounds||BS||Block Shots|
|%||Shooting percentage||PF||Personal fouls||*||Starters|
IZMIR (FIBA World Championship) - Spain have recorded their first win of the FIBA World Championship, 101-84, and now ready themselves for a crucial clash with Lithuania on Tuesday.
While the final margin was 17 points, New Zealand made them work for it, and the crowd saw an entertaining duel on the wings between Spain’s Juan-Carlos Navarro (18 points) and Rudy Fernandez (12 points), and New Zealand’s Kirk Penney (21 points, 3 assists) and Thomas Abercrombie (19 points).
The Spanish frontcourt duo of Marc Gasol (22 points) and Jorge Garbajosa (14 points) also had good outings, as did New Zealand’s Phill Jones with 15 points.
After the victory Gasol visited with FIBATV.Com.
New Zealand coach Nenad Vucinic experimented with his starting line-up, giving the inexperienced pair of Alex Pledger and Jeremy Kench valuable experience against the world champions.
But Spain made them pay, running off a 15-5 run over the first 3:31 thanks to two triples from Navarro and a stunning reverse alley-oop from Rudy Fernandez.
Once Tall Black regulars Abercrombie, Craig Bradshaw and Lindsay Tait hit the floor it was a different story though, with New Zealand outscoring Spain 39-33 for the rest of the half thanks to superstar Penney and Abercrombie.
Penney had 16 points in the first 16 minutes while Abercrombie was on top in his duel with Fernandez, slamming home three spectacular dunks on his way to 13 points for the half.
Vucinic went back to his original line-up to start the second half and Spain promptly peeled off 13-2 run in less than three minutes. While New Zealand would again bounce back with their regulars on court – winning the remainder of the quarter – a match winning lead had been established.
Both teams have a rest day on Monday before resuming on Tuesday, with New Zealand facing a crunch game against former coach Tab Baldwin and Lebanon.
Kirk Penney: I would like to congratulate Spain. Spain made a good effort. While we had a chance at second half, Spain’s bounce-back comes instantly. We tried to be careful, but we lost.
Nenad Vucinic: Spain deserved to win. We experienced some difficulties in painted area, Spain showed some solid defence. We could have play better unless we made some mistakes.
Sergio Scariolo: I think we were succsesful. Generally we showed good and solid performance. It was hard to defence to NZ but we made it through. We played two times with LIT and it was difficult. We will show a cautitious play and try to win.
Raul: We have to improve lot. NZ played tough. Almost we can’t shot from three. But we made some advances. We are happy to win. LIT is competitive and talented team. But I think we are ready and hope we will win.