Jose Calderon Assures Spain Playing to Win
Spain lost to Brazil, then had to play defense.
Questioned if they played to win, the Spaniards insisted they didn’t intentionally lose their final Olympic preliminary round game to Brazil in order to avoid an earlier matchup with the U.S. in single-elimination play starting Wednesday.
“No. Never,” said Spain guard Jose Calderon. “This is not our team, this is not the way we play, this is not the way. We’ve been together since I don’t know how many years, and we always play to win. Always.”
Leandro Barbosa scored 10 of his 23 points in the final six minutes, rallying Brazil to an 88-82 win over the Spaniards in a matchup of two medal contenders who could eventually challenge the Americans for gold.
“The way we’re playing right now, anybody could beat us,” (Pau) Gasol said after he and his teammates finished pool play with losses to Russia and Brazil.