A Team USA missing their biggest names were beaten for the second time in as many days on Thursday in China and are left fighting for a best finishing spot of seventh.
Spain, who survived double overtime against Australia to reach the final, led throughout in Beijing to win international basketball's biggest prize a second time.
Turkish-based guard Nando De Colo led all scorers with 19 points for France and Nicolas Batum had nine points, six assists and three rebounds.
The Hijabi Ballers project, based in the Greater Toronto Area, seeks to recognise and celebrate the athleticism of Muslim girls and women.
Now the centre Gasol, who played a key role in the Toronto Raptors' run to the NBA title, is on the verge of joining him in the history books.
USA, missing their biggest names, were beaten for the second time in as many days on Thursday and are left fighting for a best finishing spot of seventh.
France will play Australia for bronze on Sunday.
Wednesday's quarterfinal loss to France was the United States' first defeat in the tournament for 13 years.
The debacle in China will likely raise pressure on the USA to lock in big stars for next year or risk missing out on Games gold.
The Boomers, who had never gone beyond the quarter-finals in 11 previous appearances, defeated tournament debutants the Czech Republic 82-70 and will meet Spain on Friday.
France will play next on Friday against Argentina, who advanced by defeating Serbia on Tuesday.
Yeng Guiao's team were blown out by a combined 105 points by Italy and Serbia to open their campaign in Group D at the tournament in China, and also lost to Angola in overtime, 84-81.
Several players including All-Star Jimmy Butler sported the headgear last season, a band of fabric tied at the back of the head with the two ends flowing loose.
The United States, who will be chasing a fourth Games gold in a row, secured their berth for next summer after beating Brazil 89-73 at the World Cup.
Greece's coach said that star man Antetokounmpo had been the victim of a lack of "respect" after being fouled out in the 84-77 victory over the Czech Republic.