Will this one be another laugher or can Team Portugal somehow bring a game to the defending champions in today’s battle of Iberia? Find out soon and follow the action (sort of) with BallinEurope’s live blog below the break. Enjoy day two of EuroBasket 2011!
First quarter. Also going off at the same time this afternoon (more or less): Bosnia & Herzegovina vs. Montenegro; Bulgaria vs. Belgium; Latvia vs. Serbia.
Team Spain’s coming out again with both Gasols in the starting lineup; this combination of two NBA all-stars proved just as deadly as expected in game one, allowing Spain to utterly dominate the paint against Poland…
Another sparse crowd in this neutral venue; have local fans again been priced out in 21st-century sports fashion? (That’s a rhetorical question.)
10.00: Spain wins the tip. First question is whether they’ll lead wire-to-wire. Already answered, with Miguel Miranda putting in a three.
8.21: Call it Turnover City early. Already two for Portugal, one for Spain, while Pau Gasol draws the game’s first foul … imagine that.
8.05: And another TO, as Pau throws it away. 3-3.
7.41: Last night’s high scorer for Portugal, Elvis Evora sinks a two. Is 5-3 destined to be the last Portuguese lead? It’s now 6-5, Spain.
6.45: Another TO leads to a Navarro feed for a Fernandez dunk on the breakaway. 8-5, Spain.
4.39: A surprisingly high-scoring game — and Portugal keeps leaving Navarro open in the corner; he’s got two threes. It’s 16-11 to Spain. Plus, Portugal’s already at four team fouls.
3.44: Pau drew a ridiculous 12 fouls last night against Britain; he’s “only” got two so far today … until the refs find their whistles.
3.11: Now 20-11 to Spain. Pulling away early?
2.51: Pau has his way early near the hoop — just no height on this Portugal team — and guess what, draws another foul. After the FT, it’s 23-11 to Espana. The Lithuanian journalist next to me reckons Spain’s going for 100 points today. The goal looks doable.
1.55: The Gasols and Navarro have combined for 16, enough to tie Portugal at 23-16. Last night, these three went for a combined 68. So … final score 100-68, then?
0.33: Whoa, what a follow for the dunk off the rim by Fernandez. A shame, for Portugal was on a 5-1 run there…
0.00: “After the first quarter, 26-16, lead Spain.” Pau, Marc and Navarro each with six and are now beating Portugal, 18-16, as well.
Second quarter. 8.50: Ricky Rubio is now into his sixth quarter of EuroBasket scorelessness; Sergio Llull, who has yet to enter the game, also has a combined zero points.
8.27: Serge Ibaka making his presence felt quickly, first sinking two free throws, then banging bodies with poor Claudio Fonseca. And a T for the Portuguese bench doesn’t help matters. 31-19 to Spain.
7.05: Pau gets the poster dunk as Portugal doesn’t bother to set up on D on the breakaway. Spanish fans: “MVP! MVP! MVP!”
5.40: Gasol with the one-handed jumper over a double team of shrinking Portuguese … what a mismatch. Spain, 37-25.
4.06: With Spain up 43-28, they’re well on pace for the 100. Top score yesterday was 91, scored by Germany in Dirk & Co.’s rout of Israel. That was also the biggest margin of victory at 27 points. Both marks are in serious trouble today.
2.45: Llull to Pau for the alley-oop. Absolutely scoring at will here. 47-30 to Spain.
0.00: Wow, this is sick, straight up. 53-36 to Spain.
Third quarter. 9:40: Aaaaaaaaaaand Pau starts the scoring for Spain, making it 55-36. One wonders if Sergio Scariolo will rest his starters for the entirety of the fourth quarter at this point. Surely Victor Claver and Victor Sada deserve a few minutes…
5:34: Another three from Navarro (at the 24-second clock buzzer) and another two-handed dunk from Pau are reinforcing the circus feel of this “match.” It’s now a basically insurmountable 67-44 lead. Could Spain top 90 before the end of this freaking quarter?!?!? Again does BiE wonder about the wisdom of including 24 teams in this tournament.
4:51: Would you believe another jam from Marc? Of course you would. Spain, 69-44.
4:29: Meanwhile, in other action, Serbia is torching Latvia, 62-47; Bosnia & Herzegovina has led wire-to-wire against Montenegro and is now up 48-41 in quarter two; and in the cliffhanger of the early games, Belgium has knotted up Bulgaria at 35 early in the third.
2:32: Still no Sada … is Coach Scariolo angry with him?
2:28: Rubio reenters the game … can we at least have something for the YouTube clip?
0:00: Spain up 77-52; holy Christmas. Bizarre stat of the game thus far: The leading rebounder for Portugal is “team” with six. After that, it’s Carlos Andrade with four.
Fourth quarter. It’s all about the highlights, now…
7:46: Timeout by Spain. Why? It has been suggested to BiE that it’s because they’ve only managed four points in the last 74 seconds. Scariolo is probably apoplectic on the bench.
6:58: *Finally* Victor Claver enters the game. He must be Spain’s human victory cigar in this tourney.
6:27: And Rubio finally breaks his scoring drought, and one. 83-62, Spain.
0:00: Well, that was ugly. Also the biggest 14-point blowout BiE’s ever seen … next up here in Panevezys is Great Britain vs. Turkey. Might be closer, given Britain’s propensity for late comebacks…