FIBA Basketball World Cup: Scola-inspired Argentina to play Spain in final

Luis Scola, the grand old man of basketball, finished with 28 points, 13 rebounds and two assists.

Luis Scola of Argentina goes for a shot over Nicholas Batum (left) and Vincent Poirier of France during the FIBA Basketball World Cup semifinal.   -  AP

Argentina is one win away from its first Basketball World Cup title since 1950 after it brushed aside France 80-66 on Friday to set up a final with Spain.

Earlier, NBA champion Marc Gasol saved Spain as it battled back to see off Australia 95-88 after a second overtime period to reach the decider on Sunday.

Cheered on by a group of fans decked out in their national colours, Argentina made a fast start in its semifinal against France, which had ousted the US in the previous round.

Argentina opened the game up with a 10-2 run that saw Luis Scola, the age-defying 39-year-old, dominate the court.

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The South Americans led 39-32 at half-time and were never in serious danger of surrendering their advantage.

Scola, the grand old man of basketball, finished with 28 points, 13 rebounds and two assists. He was given a huge ovation when he stepped off the court.

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With an average height of 6'8" (203 cm), France is one of the tallest teams at the World Cup. Their height advantage was a weapon against the US — the reigning two-time champion.

But it had little effect on Argentina.

France will play Australia for bronze on Sunday.