Spain basketball tops France for fourth EuroBasket gold medal in past six tries

BERLIN — For Spain, nearly the entire names on the nationwide workforce’s roster have modified in current years.

The expectations did not. And neither did the outcomes.

Juancho Hernangomez scored 27 factors, his brother Willy Hernangomez added 14 and received event MVP honors, and Spain topped France 88-76 on Sunday to win the EuroBasket gold medal.

It was Spain’s fourth European championship in its past six tries, all these golds coming underneath coach Sergio Scariolo.

“It’s simple to say that we’re extraordinarily joyful,” Scariolo stated. “We acquired into this championship in eighth place in the ability rating, and we managed to climb, step-by-step. … It’s been wonderful now to see that we’re above all these nice groups.”

Lorenzo Brown scored 14 factors and had 11 assists for Spain, whereas Jaime Fernandez scored 13.

Evan Fournier led France — which additionally dropped the gold-medal sport on the Tokyo Olympics to the US final summer season — with 23 factors, whereas Thomas Heurtel scored 16 and Guerschon Yabusele added 13.

Rudy Gobert of the Minnesota Timberwolves was held to solely six factors on simply two pictures from the sphere for France.

“Spain performed higher from begin to end,” stated Fournier, who performs with the New York Knicks. “They had a transparent sport plan, and we did not execute ours properly sufficient. … We by no means actually had management of the sport. They simply performed higher, man, interval.”

This was purported to be a rebuilding summer season for Spain. Pau and Marc Gasol, the longtime leaders of this system, retired from worldwide play following a quarterfinal loss to the US on the Tokyo Games. Sergio Gonzalez additionally determined final summer season was the appropriate time to stroll away, after 16 years with the nationwide workforce. Sergio Llull and Ricky Rubio, two extra of the workforce’s veterans, couldn’t play due to accidents.

The successful custom continued anyway. Spain is now the reigning Basketball World Cup (received in China in 2019) and EuroBasket champion. It has additionally medaled in 10 of its past 11 EuroBasket appearances.

“It’s onerous to elucidate with phrases how I really feel,” stated Willy Hernangomez, who performs in the NBA for New Orleans. “I’m feeling extraordinarily pleased with my teammates, of my teaching employees, of all of the Spanish federation from prime to backside. We very a lot deserve this gold medal.”

But this younger workforce additionally had the exuberance of youth: As Scariolo and Willy Hernangomez had been attempting to carry a postgame information convention, the remainder of Spain’s roster crashed the session, armed with water bottles, and soaked the MVP and their coach.

“That’s the darkish aspect of getting a younger workforce,” Scariolo stated, as he fortunately dabbed at his face with a towel. “I do not see Pau Gasol throwing water round.”

For France, it was one other medal — and one other occasion of arising a bit in need of the shiniest medal. France’s final main crown got here in successful EuroBasket in 2013. Since then, the French have received two bronzes on the World Cup (2014, 2019), a bronze at EuroBasket (2015), silver on the Tokyo Olympics and now silver once more.

The distinction was clear: Spain held an enormous 35-7 edge in factors off turnovers.

“Today, clearly, we now have misplaced the gold,” France coach Vincent Collet stated. “They executed their plan completely.”

Juancho Hernangomez was 6-for-6 from 3-point vary in a six-minute span of the second quarter, serving to Spain lengthen what was a 23-14 lead right into a 45-26 edge with nearly three minutes left in the half.

It was maybe a mildly unlikely supply for a 3-point barrage. He had made a complete of 12 3s in his eight earlier video games in this yr’s EuroBasket event, and his highest in any NBA sport is six.

“We wanted him in the present day and he was there for us,” Willy Hernangomez stated.

An 11-0 run helped France lower what had been a 21-point deficit to only 47-37 on the half — and the momentum carried into the third quarter.

Yabusele’s jumper with 6:52 left in the third acquired France inside 49-46, and the whole lot appeared to be shifting.

But Spain held on. Juancho Hernangomez’s seventh 3-pointer with 7:29 left made it a 71-61 sport, and the end result wasn’t in doubt once more.

“I can’t be happier as a basketball coach,” Scariolo stated.

BRONZE MEDAL

GERMANY 82, POLAND 69

In the bronze-medal matchup earlier Sunday, Dennis Schroder scored 26 factors and host Germany held off Poland.

It was Germany’s first EuroBasket medal since successful silver in 2005. Poland matched its finest end in the occasion since 1971.

“They advised me it has been 17 years since Germany received a medal,” Germany coach Gordie Herbert stated. “It’s sort of becoming that Dennis Schroder’s quantity is 17. It’s been an unbelievable honor to educate these guys from Day 1.”

Johannes Voigtmann scored 14 for Germany.

“We labored onerous for it,” Schroder stated. “It’s an unbelievable feeling to return out third in the EuroBasket.”

Michal Sokolowski led Poland with 18 factors, with Jakub Garbacz scoring 12 and AJ Slaughter ending with 10 factors and 10 assists.

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