Spain beat France for EuroBasket title

·2-min read

For Spain, almost all of the names on the national team's roster have changed in recent years.

The expectations didn't, and neither did the results.

Juancho Hernangomez scored 27 points, his brother Willy added 14 and won tournament MVP honours, and Spain topped France 88-76 in Berlin on Sunday to win the EuroBasket gold medal.

It was Spain's fourth European championship in their last six tries, all those golds coming under coach Sergio Scariolo.

Lorenzo Brown scored 14 points and had 11 assists for Spain, while Jaime Fernandez scored 13.

Evan Fournier led France -- who also dropped the gold-medal game at the Tokyo Olympics to the US last summer -- with 23 points, and Thomas Heurtel scored 16 and Guerschon Yabusele 13.

"Spain played better from start to finish," Fournier said.

"They had a clear game plan and we did not execute ours well enough ... We never really had control of the game. They just played better, man, period."

This was supposed to be a rebuilding summer for Spain. Pau and Marc Gasol, the longtime leaders of the program, retired from international action following a quarter-final loss to the US at the Tokyo Games. Sergio Gonzalez also decided last summer was the right time to walk away, after 16 years with the national team. Sergio Llull and Ricky Rubio, two more of veterans, couldn't play because of injuries.

The winning tradition simply continued anyway. Spain are now the reigning Basketball World Cup (won in China in 2019) along with EuroBasket champions. They have also medalled in 10 of their last 11 EuroBasket appearances.

For France, it was another instance of coming up a bit short of the shiniest medal. France's last major crown came in winning EuroBasket in 2013. Since then, they have won two bronzes at the World Cup (2014, 2019), a bronze at EuroBasket (2015), silver at the Tokyo Olympics, and now, silver again.

"Today, obviously, we have lost the gold," France coach Vincent Collet said.

"They executed their plan perfect."

In the bronze-medal playoff, Dennis Schroder scored 26 points and Germany defeated Poland 82-69.

It was Germany's first EuroBasket medal since winning silver in 2005, while Poland matched their best finish in the event since 1971.

"We worked hard for it ... It's an unbelievable feeling to come out third in the EuroBasket," Schroder said.