Gasol & His Teammates Give Spain a Men’s Basketball Bronze at the 2016 Rio Games

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22 Aug 2016 | Olimpíadas

2016 Rio Games

They may not be this year’s Golden boys, but Pau Gasol and his Spanish teammates still have reason to celebrate.

The 36-year-old professional basketball player, who will be heading to the San Antonio Spurs this upcoming NBA season, scored 31 points in what could be his Olympic farewell, as Spain collected the bronze medal in Men’s Basketball at the 2016 Rio Games on Sunday with an 89-88 win over Australia.

Paul Gasol & Spain's Men's Basketball Team

Sergio Rodriguez made two free throws with 5.4 seconds left and the Spaniards, who captured silver at the 2008 Beijing Games and the 2012 London Games, got the defensive stop they needed as Australia fumbled the ball away on its last possession.

Gasol, who hasn’t committed to playing at the 2020 Tokyo Games, and his teammates celebrated by piling on top of each other near center court.

Paul Gasol & Spain's Men's Basketball Team

It wasn’t the medal they wanted, but after losing their first two games in Brazil, it beats nothing.

“Unbelievable,” forward Rudy Fernandez said. “It’s an amazing feeling.”

It’s a feeling Gasol wishes could last. He isn’t ready to shed his España jersey.

“I’m getting older and at some point I’m not going to be able to play,” said Gasol. “So when that day comes, I’ll accept it. It’ll be hard, but I had an incredible run. I can’t ask for anything else. Everything I gave, everything I lived as a basketball player, it’s a plus. It’s a gift.

“I’m just enjoying the ride.”


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