It’s just days until the FIBA World Cup and the Spanish National team has ended their preparation with a demolition of an apparently “powerful” Argentina. Oklahoma City Thunder power forward Serge Ibaka proved his worth with a dominating 13 pts and 8 rebs. Fellow NBA players Marc Gasol (14 pts, 9 rebs) and brother Pau (13 pts 9 rebs) also added to the frontcourt dominance in the 33 point hiding. The final score was a whopping 86-53 in favor of the Spaniards as they closed out their “friendlies” with a 8-0 record.
Team USA has usually been the hot favorite in FIBA play, but with key injuries, notable withdrawals and stronger European competition, it certainly won’t be a cake walk. Ibaka and Spain proved that throughout these warm up games. When you add Minnesota’s Ricky Rubio into the mix, you just know Spain will be fighting deep into the tournament. Serge Ibaka had a number of highlight worthy plays, including a “block at one end, run the floor for the alley-oop” that made jaws drop.
While teammates Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook have pulled back from their Team USA commitments this time around in favor of getting their body right, Ibaka has decided to continue his FIBA campaign. Ibaka suffered a calf injury during the Western Conference Finals – an injury that really changed the tempo of the series.
While he was able to return, no doubt the Thunder fans and franchise would have preferred Ibaka to sit out and not play in the FIBA World Cup. However, he is staying committed to Spain and will take the floor again in a few days time. If nothing else, at least we get to watch one of our own in action until the NBA regular season starts.
Tags: Serge Ibaka