France tops Poland, Spain beats Germany in EuroBasket semifinals

BERLIN — France despatched a message on its technique to grabbing a spot in the EuroBasket championship recreation and a showdown with Spain.

Guerschon Yabusele scored 22 factors, and France rolled previous Poland 95-54 in the semifinals of the European championships on Friday.

“We simply performed our basketball,” Yabusele mentioned. “We have been actually good on protection and we have been actually aggressive. We made all the pieces onerous for them.”

The 41-point margin was the most important ever in a EuroBasket medal-round recreation performed below the present event format, another than 40-point wins posted by Croatia over Greece in the 1993 bronze-medal recreation and by the Soviet Union over Poland in the 1967 semifinals.

Elie Okobo and Evan Fournier every had 10 factors in a uncommon straightforward one for France, which had outscored opponents by a complete of 11 factors in its first seven video games of the event — plus gained every of its previous two contests in extra time, benefitting in each from missed free throws in the ultimate moments by Turkey and Italy.

“We began the sport with will and willpower,” France coach Vincent Collet mentioned. “That is what made the distinction.”

Next up for France: Spain, which defeated host Germany 96-91 in Friday’s different semifinal. The gold- and bronze-medal video games are Sunday.

It’ll mark the fifth time in the previous six EuroBaskets that both Spain or France has gained gold; the exception was 2017, when Slovenia prevailed. It’ll even be a rematch of the 2011 EuroBasket last, in which Spain topped France.

“We labored actually onerous to place ourselves in this place,” mentioned France heart Rudy Gobert, who had six rebounds and three blocks. “Now we have got another recreation to go. When we began preparations, the aim was to win the gold medal and now we’re in place to make it occur. So, another recreation.”

Playing for gold represents the newest massive likelihood for France, which captured its final main crown by profitable EuroBasket in 2013. Since then, the French have gained two bronzes on the World Cup (2014, 2019), a bronze at EuroBasket (2015) and silver on the delayed Tokyo Olympics that have been contested in the summer time of 2021.

Every stat Friday confirmed France’s dominance. It shot 62%, in contrast with 32% for Poland. France held a 40-21 edge in rebounding, a 22-9 edge in factors off turnovers and a 40-16 benefit from factors in the paint.

“Like a number of video games in this event, it might go south, it might go north,” Poland coach Igor Milicic mentioned. “This recreation went south.”

AJ Slaughter and Michal Michalak led Poland — which made the semifinals by upsetting defending champion Slovenia 90-87 on Wednesday — with 9 factors apiece. It was Poland’s third lack of the event, all coming in blowouts. The others have been a 30-point defeat to Finland and a 29-point loss to Serbia in the group stage.

“We tip our hats off to France,” mentioned Slaughter, a Kentucky-born guard who helped Western Kentucky to upset wins as a No. 12 seed in each the 2008 and 2009 NCAA tournaments. “They performed a extremely good recreation tonight. … But we nonetheless have our heads excessive. We nonetheless have a medal recreation on Sunday. We’ll come again, play with satisfaction and see if we will go away right here with a medal.”

Spain 96, Germany 91

Lorenzo Brown scored 29 factors, and Spain used a 13-0 run in the fourth quarter to rally previous host Germany in the second semifinal.

Germany led by 10 factors late in the third quarter earlier than Spain took over. Juancho Hernangomez scored seven of his 13 factors in the game-deciding run, one the place Spain turned a 77-70 deficit into an 83-77 lead with 4:04 remaining.

“I can’t discover the phrases to congratulate my gamers,” Spain coach Sergio Scariolo mentioned. “Probably this medal is the least anticipated, however to me, essentially the most passable. Built upon onerous work, togetherness, crew basketball, defensive effort, want to beat our limits … and guts in the fourth quarter.”

It was Spain’s fifth consecutive win on the event, the final 4 of them coming by 10 factors or fewer.

“When you carry depth to the sport, something can occur,” mentioned Usman Garuba, who had a team-high seven assists for Spain.

And it was Brown’s highest-scoring recreation of the event, plus greater than doubled his per-game common getting into Friday; he was averaging 13.4 factors in Spain’s first seven video games.

Dennis Schroder led all scorers with 30 factors for Germany however managed solely two factors in the fourth quarter. Franz Wagner and Andreas Obst every scored 15 for Germany, whereas Daniel Theis added 10.

“The power was wonderful on the market,” Brown mentioned. “I do not suppose that crowd got here to play tonight. Felt wonderful from the bounce. I felt like our guys felt wonderful from the bounce as nicely. Schroder got here out, enjoying unbelievable, completed the sport unbelievable as nicely. But it simply took a number of guts from our finish.”

Germany coach Gordie Herbert mentioned shedding momentum early in the fourth quarter was key.

“We had a troublesome 5, six minutes,” Herbert mentioned.

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