So much for those friendly warm-up games leading into the 2012 London Olympics.
During the third quarter between Spain and France on Sunday, the scene turned very unfriendly between Rudy Fernandez and Michael Gelabale.
With 2:32 left in the third quarter and Spain leading 52-47, Fernandez and Gelabale got involved in an altercation just beyond the top of the three point line. The two exchanged words and Gelabale gave a two-hand shove to Fernandez' face and neck, leading to both players being ejected.
These two teams have big game history between them with Spain beating France at the 2011 European Championship in Lithuania and both are projected to make a run for the gold in London.
Gelabale may have got the big shove in, but Spain came away with the win in Madrid, 75-70.
Pau Gasol led all scorers with 22 points and 10 rebounds to pace the winners and Serge Ibaka added 16 points and 10 rebounds, along with Victor Claver’s 10 points and 9 rebounds. For France, Nicolas Batum played sparingly (6 minutes), while Kevin Seraphin had 12 points and Tony Parker went for 11 points in the loss.
Spain remains undermanned with Marc Gasol nursing his injured shoulder and sprained right ankle.
As for the ejection of Fernandez, it provided Claver the chance to get more playing time and produce on both ends.
With games likely to get only more heated as London nears it will be interesting to keep an eye on both of Spain and France they go to battle.
Keep in mind, these are the two teams believed to be in position to give Team USA a run for their money.
That is if they can go without fighting all the way there.
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