Gasol inspires dominant Spain once again

Pau Gasol inspired Spain to another dominant win as the reigning EuroBasket champions thrashed Czech Republic 93-56 to start their title defence with back-to-back victories.

San Antonio Spurs star Gasol - MVP at this tournament two years ago - led the way with 26 points and eight rebounds as Spain followed on from their opening 99-60 hammering of Montenegro in Group C.

With an NBA headline act of their own, Montenegro bounced back with 72-48 victory over Hungary, Orlando Magic forward Nikola Vucevic putting up 13 points and seven rebounds.

Croatia joined Spain in staying perfect with a 74-58 defeat of joint hosts Romania.

Lithuania, 2015 EuroBasket runners-up, recovered from their surprise Group B loss to Georgia by downing another of the hosts, as Israel's strong first-quarter showing proved in vain in an 88-73 reverse.

Also in that pool, Georgia were brought back down to earth in a 67-57 loss to Germany, and Italy overcame Ukraine 78-66.

In Group A there was a 95-87 win for France over Greece, Poland eased past Iceland 91-61, while Slovenia battled to a narrow 81-78 win against Finland.

Latvia's Kristaps Porzingis shrugged off the disappointment of his debut loss to Serbia by sinking 27 points in his country's 92-64 Group D triumph over Belgium.

And finally, from that same group, Russia beat Rio 2016 silver medallists Serbia 75-72, and Great Britain lost 84-70 to Turkey.

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