France state

Behind 27 by Juancho Hernangomez, Spain overthrow France to claim EuroBasket title

BERLIN — For Spain, almost all the names of the national team have changed in recent years.

Expectations did not. And neither are the results.

Juancho Hernangomez scored 27 points, his brother Willy Hernangomez added 14 and earned tournament MVP honors, and Spain edged France 88-76 on Sunday to claim EuroBasket gold.

It was Spain’s fourth European Championship in their last six tries, with all those gold medals won by coach Sergio Scariolo.

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

Evan Fournier led France – who also dropped out of the gold medal game at the Tokyo Olympics in the United States last summer – with 23 points, Thomas Heurtel scored 16 and Guerschon Yabusele added 13 .

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

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

It was supposed to be a rebuilding summer for Spain. Pau and Marc Gasol, the program’s longtime leaders, retired from international duty after a quarter-final loss to the United States at the Tokyo Games. Sergio Rodriguez also decided last summer was the right time to leave, after 16 years with the national team. Sergio Llull and Ricky Rubio, two other veterans, were unable to play due to injuries.

The winning tradition just continued anyway. Spain is now the reigning Basketball World Cup (won in China in 2019) with the EuroBasket champion. He has also won 10 of his last 11 EuroBasket appearances.

For France, it was another medal – and another example of falling short of the brightest medal. France’s last major crown came by winning the EuroBasket in 2013. Since then, the French have won two World Cup bronzes (2014, 2019), a EuroBasket bronze (2015), a medal silver at the Tokyo Olympics and now a silver medal again.

The difference was clear: Spain held a massive 35-7 advantage in points on turnovers.

“Today obviously we lost gold,” said French coach Vincent Collet. “They executed their plan perfectly.”

Juancho Hernangomez was 6-for-6 from 3-point range in 6 minutes of the second quarter, helping Spain extend their 23-14 lead into a 45-26 advantage with just 3 minutes left in the half .

It was perhaps a slightly unlikely source for a 3-point shoot-off. He had made a total of 12 3s in his previous eight games in this year’s EuroBasket tournament, and his record in any NBA game is six.

An 11-0 run helped France reduce what had been a 21-point deficit to just 47-37 at halftime – and the momentum carried into the third quarter.

The Yabusele jumper with 6:52 to go in the third put France at 49-46, and everything seemed to change.

But Spain held firm. Juancho Hernangomez’s seventh 3-pointer with 7:29 to go made it 71-61, and the result was clear.

BRONZE MEDAL: GERMANY 82, POLAND 69

In the bronze medal game earlier on Sunday, Dennis Schroder scored 26 points and host Germany held off Poland.

It was Germany’s first EuroBasket medal since winning silver in 2005. Poland equaled their best result in the event since 1971.

“They told me it’s been 17 years since Germany won a medal,” said German coach Gordie Herbert. “It’s pretty fitting that Dennis Schroder’s number is 17. It’s been an incredible honor to coach these guys from day one.”

Johannes Voigtmann scored 14 for Germany.

“We worked hard for this,” Schroder said. “It’s an incredible feeling to finish third in EuroBasket.”

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