Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Olympics Basketball Nearing Its Close

Here’s the semifinals matchup before the medal rounds in men’s basketball:

Spain vs. Lithuania

United States vs. Argentina

Argentina notched the last spot after edging Greece in a very tight game, 80-78. The match was virtually a struggle, with lead changes happening almost every possession. San Antonio Spurs’ star player Manu Ginobili provided the firepower, scoring 24 points for Argentina, while teammate Carlos Francisco Delfino chipped in 23.

For Spain, Lakers’ big man Pau Gasol carried his team with a 20-point performance in the 72-59 victory over Croatia. The last time Spain reached the final round was 24 years ago, during the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics.

Team USA dominated the Australian in a convincing fashion, 116-85. But points were secondary to their victory. The Dream Team effectively controlled the rebounds department with 19 offensive and 38 defensive boards. Kobe Bryant led Team USA with 25 points.

Lithuania did not have any troubles dropping host team China in their match, 94-68. Sarunas Jasikevicius led all scorers with 23 points. Their key to victory was frustrate Yao Ming and deny him the passes. It worked well.

The winner of Spain-Lithuania will go against the victor of United States-Argentina for the gold and silver medals. Losers of both matches will slug for the bronze.