Marcelinho celebrating Brazil's win. Ingles is in the background. / PHOTO: www.london2012.com

Spain beat the always difficult China basketball team in its official Olympic debut. Scariolo’s men took a while to get into the the match but little by little they made their quality count. The Barça Regal and Spain captain, Juan Carlos Navarro, recovered just in time from illness and was able to make his Olympic debut. The captain came out onto the court at the end of the first quarter, but he didn’t score until the beginning of the second, when he sunk a three pointer. Sada, who played his first minutes in the second half, also scored a three pointer.

A 34 to 24 run in the second quarter proved enough to put some space between the two sides, even though the Chinese kept a handle on the game thanks to their field-goal accuracy. A basket from Pau Gasol at the end of the half allowed Spain to go to the break with a 53-41 lead.

Navarro, 14 points. Sada, 7

At the start of the second half Spain did well to maintain the lead built up in the first thanks to a superb Pau Gasol, who scored 21 points and nabbed 11 rebounds, and Serge Ibaka. Spain ran out the last minutes of the game at the London Basketball Arena to secure the victory (97-81). Navarro played a total of 18 minutes and as time ticked off the clock, he showed his best form. The Spain captain closed out the match against China with 14 points, 2 assists, 3 rebounds and received 3 fouls.

Víctor Sada played a total of 11 minutes, scored 7 points, gave 2 assists, received a foul and secured a rebound.

Marcelinho guides Brazil to victory over Australia

Brazil narrowly edged Australia in a match that was decided in the dying minutes of the game - with two free throws from Marcelinho Huertas (75-71). The Barça Regal player put in a fine performance with a match total of 15 points, 10 assists, 4 rebounds and receiving 7 personal fouls in the 33 minutes he spent on the court. Brazil’s players quickly fell behind to their Australian counterparts at the start of the match, but the team’s quality and experience was enough to secure the victory.

The other Azulgrana player on the court, Joe Ingles, also started for his team. The Australian played a total of 35 minutes and he scored 25 points (71% FG average), gave 2 assists, captured 3 rebounds and received 4 fouls.

Upcoming schedule

Australia and Spain are set to face off on July 31st at 12.15. Jasikevicius’ Lithuania will play against Nigeria at 15.30, and Brazil will face Great Britain at 17.45.

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