Navarro playing against Russia in the group stage / PHOTO: www.london2012.com

Spain, with Juan Carlos Navarro and Víctor Sada, edged Russia in the semi-finals of the Olympic Games to qualify for its third-ever gold-medal match, which will be played on Sunday at 16.00. The Barça Regal captain scored four points, gave three assists, secured three rebounds and received three fouls in his 19 minutes on the court. Sada, however, did not feature in this afternoon’s semi-final.

Navarro was in the starting team, along with Calderón, Rudy and the Gasol brothers. The first quarter of the match ended with Russia on top by a narrow three-point lead (9-12). However, at the start of the second, the Russian team, led by Monya and Kaun, jumped to a commanding 14-27 lead and closed out the half with an 11-point advantage over Spain.

Spain fight back

Spain reacted after the break and, after a 26 to 15 run, the scoreboard reflected 46-all at the end of the third quarter. It was evident that the last quarter would be hard-fought and brutal. A three pointer from Calderón gave Spain its first lead since the first quarter (51-49), and from that moment on, Scariolo’s men didn’t look back. Reyes fired away from the perimeter and Marc Gasol dominated in the paint as Spain cruised to a 67-59 win over Russia.

Spain’s opponent in the gold-medal match will be the United States.

Bladé watched the game live

Joan Bladé, director responsible for Barça Regal, watched the Spain-Russia semi-final this afternoon in London’s spectacular O2 Arena.

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