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Spain defeats France 88-76 and wins the Eurobasquet

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For Spain, almost all the names of the players on the national basketball team have changed in recent years, but not the expectations or the results.

Juancho Hernangomez of the Toronto Raptors scored 27 points, his brother Willy had 14 in addition to earning the Most Valuable Player award, and Spain won the gold medal by beating France 88-76 on Sunday in the final of the Eurobasketball.

The title is the fourth for Spain in its last six participations in the tournament. All have been under the direction of Italian coach Sergio Scariolo.

“We played great from start to finish,” Scariolo told reporters after the game, noting that it’s easy to say they’re very happy.

“We have entered eighth in the power ranking of this championship and we finished first, winning a championship where teams have been left behind” with NBA players.

The strategist considered it wonderful to see that they had overcome great teams.

Lorenzo Brown had 14 points and 11 assists for Spain, and Jaime Fernández finished with 13 points.

With 23 points, Evan Fourner was the best offensive player for France, which lost the gold medal to the United States at the Tokyo Olympics last summer. Thomas Heurtel scored 16 points and Guerschon Yabusele 13.

Rudy Gobert of the Minnesota Timberwolves was held to just six points on just two shots from the field for France.

“Spain played better from start to finish,” Fournier of the New York Knicks said. “He had a clear game plan and we didn’t execute ours well enough… We were never in control of the game. They were just better, period.”

The Spanish team was renewed since last summer. Pau and Marc Gasol, the leaders of the team for years, withdrew from international competition after losing to the United States at the Tokyo Olympics.

Sergio González also decided last summer that it was time to retire after 16 years with the national team. Sergio Llull and Ricky Rubio, two other very experienced players, were unable to see action due to injuries.

The tradition of victory just continued anyway.

Spain is now the current defending Basketball World Cup champion (by beating China in 2019) and Eurobasket champion. He has also won a medal in 10 of his last 11 participations in this continental competition.

The difference was clear: Spain far surpassed France in points obtained from turnovers: 35-7

“Today, obviously, we have lost the gold,” France coach Vincent Collet said. “They executed their plan perfectly”:

Juancho Hernagomez hit 6-of-6 3-pointers in a 6-minute span in the second period to extend the lead from 23-14 to 45-26 with about three minutes remaining in the first half.

It was unthinkable that the player would contribute that barrage of triples. He had achieved 12 in his previous meetings in the current Eurobasket, and six was his highest number in an NBA game.

Willy Hernangomez said that today they needed his brother and he complied.

Thanks to an 11-0 run, France reduced what was a 21-point deficit to 10 — 47-37 — in the first half and the momentum carried into the third period.

Yabusele scored a basket with 6:52 remaining in the third period, France closed with 49:46 and it looked like there would be a turnaround.

But Spain defended its advantage. Juancho Hernangomez got his seventh triple with 7:29 remaining for 71-61, and the outcome was no longer in doubt.

BRONZE MEDAL

GERMANY 82, POLAND 69

In the bronze medal game, also on Sunday, Dennis Schroder of the Los Angeles Lakers scored 26 points for host Germany, who beat Poland.

The medal was Germany’s first at Eurobasket since taking silver in 2005. Poland matched its best performance in the competition since 1971.

“I was told that it had been 17 years since the last time Germany had won a medal,” said the team’s coach, Canada’s Gordie Herbert.

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