There was little Iran could do from the start, as Spain—even without Serge Ibaka—bullied its way to a 90-60 victory on the 2014 FIBA World Cup's opening day.
Though Iran kept it interesting throughout the first half, Pau Gasol proved to be too much. With 33 points in his FIBA return, the elder Gasol brother led his talent-filled team to their first, of what will likely be many blowout victories.
Marc, the younger Gasol, contributed 15 points and 10 rebounds, as Spain proved what many already assumed:
Aside from the United States, this Spanish team is as good as it gets.
Iran’s Hamed Haddadi and Mehdi Kamrani served as their country’s backbone, contributing 16 and 18 points, respectively. Haddadi pitched in 15 rebounds as well.
Overall, the game played out as many expected, and the narratives remain in tune. Iran, though talented, is an underdog competitor for Group A’s fourth seed, while Spain remains a realistic contender for the gold medal.