Basketball: Spain edge Australia for bronze in thriller

Sun Aug 21, 2016 2:00pm EDT
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By Steve Keating

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Spain beat Australia 89-88 in a thrilling clash to take bronze in the Olympic men's basketball tournament on Sunday and bring home a medal from a third straight Games.

For Australia, who had set an ambitious gold medal target, it was another bitterly disappointing end to what looked a promising Olympics.

Once again the Boomers let an elusive medal slip through their fingers, losing in the bronze medal match for the fourth time and in the cruelest of fashion.

With five seconds left in regulation time, Sergio Rodriguez drew a controversial foul and made two free throws to give Spain a one point lead and Australia one last possession.

But Australia could not get a shot off as the Boomers were once again denied an elusive medal having now lost in the bronze medal match at four Games.

"It's unbelievable," said Australian center Andrew Bogut. "You just dive into guys recklessly and get calls like that.

"It's tough to play like that. We're disappointed. We had a horrible semi-final, we battled tonight and times we were outnumbered on the court.

"You touch one of these guys and they go flying and the refs buy it. The last two fouls were tough on us."   Continued...

2016 Rio Olympics - Basketball - Final - Men's Bronze Medal Game Australia v Spain - Carioca Arena 1 - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 21/8/2016.  Pau Gasol (ESP) of Spain (C) and teammates celebrate their victory over Australia. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton