Ricky Rubio played a starring role as Spain regained the FIBA World Cup by defeating Argentina 95-75 in the final in Beijing on Sunday.

Phoenix Suns guard Rubio was named MVP after he combined 20 points with seven rebounds and three assists to lead Spain to the title for the first time since 2006.

Sergio Llull added 15 off the bench for Sergio Scariolo's side, while NBA champion Marc Gasol had 14 points with seven rebounds, seven assists, three blocks and two steals.

Spain's success owed a lot to a stoic defensive display, with Argentina forward Luis Scola kept scoreless in the first half of the showpiece.

Scola and Facundo Campazzo combined for three-of-21 shooting from the field, with Gabriel Deck's haul of 24 points insufficient to inspire Argentina to a late comeback.

Spain started the first quarter with a 14-2 run and then began the second half by going 12-2 to open up a comfortable advantage they never looked like surrendering.

France took third place for the second successive World Cup after coming from 15 points down in the second half to defeat Australia 67-59.

Argentina ended Serbia's hopes of glory at the FIBA World Cup on Tuesday, while Spain progressed to the last four at the expense of Poland.

Facundo Campazzo starred for Argentina in their 97-87 victory in the opening quarter-final, scoring 18 points, providing 12 assists and also grabbing six rebounds.

As for 2006 champions Spain, they prevailed 90-78 against Poland in a notable outing for Ricky Rubio.

Wednesday sees the other two last-eight games, with the United States taking on France before Australia meet the Czech Republic.

 

SCOLA STARS AS SERBIA FALL SHORT

Led by Luis Scola's 20 points, Argentina put paid to Serbia's hopes of going one better than their runner-up finish in 2014. Instead, the much-fancied European nation will not even leave China with a medal.

Two-time champions Serbia trailed for much of the contest but fought hard to hold the lead early in the fourth quarter - only for their opponents to hit back in impressive fashion.

Nicolas Laprovittola and Scola both converted from the foul line after scoring on two-point plays, making the score 87-76 with a little over three minutes remaining.

Bogdan Bogdanovic (21 points) cut the gap down to 91-85 with a three-pointer, only for Campazzo to respond with a successful jump shot at the other end. The reliable Scola then hit a pair of free throws in the closing seconds, allowing Argentina's fans inside the venue to start the celebrations early.

 

RUBIO REACHES RECORD

Spain shut down Poland dangerman Mateusz Ponitka - who was held to just two points in the opening half - as they eased into the final four.

Rubio had 19 points but his playmaking skills were the major story in Spain's triumph. The point guard moved past Pablo Prigioni's tally of 106 on the all-time assist list for the competition, the record-breaking moment coming when he found Juancho Hernangomez for a three-pointer in the second quarter.

A.J. Slaughter scored 19 for plucky Poland, who had surprised many in making it to the knockout rounds after qualifying ahead of Russia and Venezuela from Group I.

Spain and Serbia booked their spots in the quarter-finals of the FIBA World Cup on Friday.

Spain overcame Italy 67-60 and Serbia thrashed Puerto Rico 90-47 as they both guaranteed qualification from Group J.

The two nations will battle it out for top spot when they meet in a mouth-watering clash in Wuhan on Sunday.

Poland and Argentina also advanced with victories over Russia and Venezuela respectively.

Hosts China scored a 77-73 win over South Korea in the classification round, while there were also triumphs for Nigeria, Iran and Tunisia.

 

ITALY LOSE IT LATE

Spain were trailing 56-52 with four minutes to play against Italy, but Ricky Rubio helped lead a 10-0 run as Italy were put to the sword.

The Phoenix Suns guard finished with 15 points, two assists and two steals, though he recorded seven turnovers – a joint-high for him in a World Cup game.

Juancho Hernangomez had a game-high 16 points as Italy came up short and saw their hopes of reaching the last eight go up in smoke.

Marc Gasol had just two points and four rebounds in his 27 minutes on the floor.

 

SERBIA TOO GOOD FOR PUERTO RICO

A fourth win on the trot always looked likely for Serbia, who opened the scoring and never trailed against Puerto Rico.

Five Serbia players reached double figures in points, while the towering Boban Marjanovic went seven-of-eight from the field for 16 points.

The European side out-rebounded their opponents 48-26 and used all 12 of their players in a routine victory.

Nikola Jokic claimed a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds.

 

DECK DECKS VENEZUELA

Argentina had Gabriel Deck to thank for their 87-67 triumph over Venezuela; the Real Madrid forward had 25 points off nine-of-12 shooting in a comfortable win.

Poland joined them in advancing from Group I.

Adam Waczynski scored eight of his 18 points in the fourth quarter as Poland came from behind to down Russia 79-74.

Mateusz Ponitka contributed 14 points and nine rebounds, as Mikhail Kulagin's game-high 21 proved insufficient for Russia.

Like Spain and Serbia, Poland and Argentina will fight for top spot on Sunday. They go head to head in Foshan.

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