Basketball: 2-time defending champs Spain struggle to reach Euro q-finals
LJUBLJANA, Slovenia (AP) - It has been anything but a smooth ride for Spain as they seek their third straight European basketball title.
The Memphis Grizzlies' Marc Gasol and his teammates are in the quarter-finals but they have appeared vulnerable in getting there. Due to a generous format of a tournament that started with 24 teams and was pared down to 12 for the second round, Spain advanced despite three losses.
The latest defeat came on Monday, the last day of the second round, when Spain blew a 15-point lead and lost 81-86 to Italy in overtime despite Gasol's 32 points and 10 rebounds.
Luigi Datome cut inside to put in a lay-up at the buzzer to tie the game at the end of regulation, and also provided some key plays as Italy dominated the extra period.