In the crowded Mercedes-Benz Arena in Berlin, Spain and France climbed to the apotheosis podium of the European Basketball Championship. World champion Spain – still present in the group stage by the Belgian Lions – had ousted Germany in the semi-finals, and France beat Poland on their way to the final.
It was the Spaniards who started the match better. With the Hernangomez brothers in the NBA, she took France by the throat, acting uninspired with NBA stars Joubert and Fournier. In the first half, Spain led 47-37.
France had to respond in the third quarter and they did. Real Madrid’s Hurtl grabbed his team by the hand and reduced the difference to only three points. But the French Renaissance did not last long. Spain responded valiantly and extended the difference again to 66-57.
The French needed a miracle in the last quarter, but it didn’t happen. Spain’s tactical plan was just right: the world champion would eventually score over 30 turnover points, and France found no answer to the Spanish turnaround. 88-76 was the end result.
Thus Spain adds a European title to its world title, and the Belgian Lions remain the only team in this European championship that can beat Spain. Earlier in the night, Germany defeated Poland in the battle for the bronze with a score of 82-69. The 13,000 local fans pushed Dennis Schroeder (26 points) and shared the lead on the international podium.
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