MADRID, Aug. 21 (Xinhua) -- Spain made it six wins out of six preparation matches on Wednesday night as a strong last quarter performance took Juan Antonio Orenga's side to an 82-64 win over a Croatia who proved to be a tougher challenge for the hosts of the 2014 FIBA World Cup than expected.
Once again power forward Pau Gasol was one of the men who made the difference for Spain, netting 18 points as the power of Serge Ibaka and his brother Marc, once again proved too much for Spain's rivals in the zone and Gasol was delighted with the progress of the team.
"We have very good feelings about this, we have a side with a lot of experience but with a lot of excitement to play what will be the last major tournament together for much of us," said Gasol, the most successful Spanish basketball player of all time who is now with the Chicago Bulls.
"We have to keep calm in order to maintain the correct level of tension," he said in sports paper, Diario AS.
The silver medalists in the 2012 Olympic Games are expected to progress to the final with experts predicting a clash against the USA, although if they can make the final, Gasol doesn't care who Spain face.
"We want to get to the final whoever we are against. It would be really important for us to win a gold medal, but we have to take this step by step," he advised.
The only worry for Spain was the lack of effectiveness shown by the usually reliable Sergi Llull and Juan Carlos Navarro with three-point throws, but as long as the forwards are hitting the target Spain have plenty of options
"We have to continue taking advantage of our inside play to try and give an advantage to the shooting guards. We have to create advantage to exploit our strengths," he concluded.