Marc Gasol
Spain seeks third straight European basketball championship
Spain continues to be a basketball powerhouse

Led by Marc Gasol and Ricky Rubio, Spain is favored to win a third straight European basketball championship despite losing plenty of talent.

Gone will be the size of Pau Gasol and Serge Ibaka and the shooting of Juan Carlos Navarro when the 24-team tournament starts on Wednesday. Two years ago in Lithuania, the Gasol brothers were a huge presence under the basket, while Navarro added 27 points in the 98-85 victory over France in the final.

France is back with Tony Parker, but is missing some of its own big men, including Joakim Noah.

The tournament features 24 teams for the first time, split into four groups that will play in Ljubljana, Jesenice, Koper and Celje. The final two rounds are in the capital of Ljubljana.

Reported by the Associated Press