FIBA World Cup 2019 Awards: Ricky Rubio Named MVP After Spain's Gold-Medal WinSeptember 15, 2019
Ricky Rubio capped off a memorable summer by being named MVP of the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup.
The 28-year-old led Spain in its 95-75 championship game win over Argentina on Sunday. He dropped 20 points, his best scoring game of the tournament, grabbed seven rebounds and had three assists in 23 minutes.
Rubio finished the World Cup ranked in the top 10 in total points (131), points per game (16.4) and assists per game (6.0). He saved his best performances for the biggest games, highlighted by his effort in the semifinal against Australia with 19 points, 12 assists, seven rebounds and four steals.
"We made history and we are really proud of that," Rubio said after the final, via AFP (h/t Yahoo Sports). "We had a great tournament. ... We feel like this will go down as a memory for us as a family, and that is bigger than the World Cup. It's a family for life. This tournament is going to follow me for life."
In addition to being named MVP, Rubio was also one of five players named to the all-tournament team. He was joined by teammate Marc Gasol, Bogdan Bogdanovic (Serbia), Luis Scola (Argentina) and Evan Fournier (France).
Bogdanovic had the second-highest-scoring average of the tournament (22.9). Scola ended the World Cup on a down note with just eight points on 1-of-10 shooting, but he was brilliant in the first seven games with 19.3 points and 8.1 rebounds per contest to help Argentina reach the championship.
Gasol's performance was inconsistent overall, but he was terrific in Spain's semifinal win over Australia with 33 points and an efficiency mark of 33. The Toronto Raptors star had seven assists in the final, tying his most for a single game in this year's World Cup.
Fournier was the standout for a France team that won the bronze. He had a streak of three straight games with at least 20 points against Lithuania, Australia and the United States. The Orlando Magic guard shot 41 percent from three-point range in eight games.
Spain's win was its first World Cup title since 2006. The Spaniards will hope to continue their winning ways in the 2020 Olympics.