Spain came through Sunday with an 88-76 victory over France in the EuroBasket 2022 championship game in Berlin, Germany. A red-hot Juancho Hernangomez could not miss from 3-point range, leading Spain to capture the gold medal.
Spain celebrates a victory and gold medal in EuroBasket 2022 tournament in Berlin, Germany. Spain defeated Germany in the semifinals and France in the finals. (Image: Maja Hitij/Getty)
Jauncho Hernangomez dropped 27 points in the final for Spain, including 6-for-6 beyond the arc in a huge second quarter. His older brother, Willy Hernangomez, scored 14 points and secured tournament MVP honors.
With four gold medal victories in EuroBasket, Spain is the third-most successful country behind Russia (14) and Yugoslavia (8) in the popular European basketball tournament.
EuroBasket Champions / Gold Medal Winners (Since 2003)
Spain won a gold medal in EuroBasket for the fourth time in the last six tournaments dating back to 2009. In addition, Spain is the reigning FIBA World Cup champion, which was hosted in 2019 in China.
Spain entered EuroBasket 2022 as the fifth favorite on DrafKings’ betting board at +900 odds. France was +450 odds to win the gold medal, and one of the three top favorites along with Serbia and Slovenia.
Willy and Jauncho Hernandez Secure Gold for Spain
The gold medal in EuroBasket 2022 was a bit of surprise for Spain, considering starting point guard Ricky Rubio suffered an ACL injury while playing for the NBA’s Cleveland Cavs. The current national team is much younger than previous, more-experienced squads. They were also in rebuilding mode after the departures of the Gasol brothers, Pau and Marc, both retired.
However, the Hernangomez brothers stepped up to help reestablish Spain as one of the elite basketball teams in Europe.
It’s easy to say that we are extremely happy,” said Spanish head coach Sergio Scariolo after the medal ceremony. “We got into this championship in eighth place in the power ranking, and we managed to climb, step by step. It’s been amazing now to see we are above all those great teams.”
Jauncho Hernangomez made a name for himself earlier this year as an actor in Adam Sandler’s recent Netflix film, Hustle. In a rare dramatic role, Sandler portrayed an NBA scout hoping to find the next superstar in Europe. Jauncho Hernangomez played Bo Cruz, an overseas basketball prospect from Spain who tried to make it to the NBA.
Juancho Hernangomez bounced around numerous NBA teams in his career. But he recently signed a one-year contract with the Toronto Raptors. Willy Hernangomez appeared in 50 games at center for the New Orleans Pelicans last season. He also played for the New York Knicks and Charlotte Hornets.
“I’m feeling extremely proud of my teammates, of my coaching staff, of all the Spanish federation from the top to the bottom,” said Willy Hernangomez after the game. “We much deserve this gold medal.”
France Snags Silver Medal, Germany Wins Bronze
It’s been another disappointing finish for France. They took second at the Tokyo Olympics last summer in Japan when they lost to Team USA in the gold medal game. They were seeking only their second EuroBasket title since beating Lithuania in 2013.
France entered the semifinals as the consensus betting favorite at +160 odds to win EuroBasket 2022. They crushed Poland by 41 points to secure a spot in the gold medal game against Spain.
France had several notable NBA players on their roster, including Rudy Gobert (Timberwolves), Evan Fournier (Knicks), and Frank Ntilikina (Mavericks). They entered the EuroBasket championship game as a three-point betting favorite against Spain.
France fell behind early and never recovered. Spain opened a 20-plus point lead after the younger Hernangomez’s barrage of treys in the second quarter. But France responded with an 11-0 run to cut the deficit to just ten points heading into halftime. However, France could not launch a successful comeback in the second half and lost by 12 points.
Spain played better from start to finish,” Fournier told ESPN. “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.”
In the bronze medal consolation game, Germany pulled away from Poland in the fourth quarter to win 82-69. Dennis Schroder from the LA Lakers led all scorers with 26 points. Germany was a double-digit favorite, but backdoored a cover after outscoring Poland 28-20 in the fourth quarter.
Schroder earned a spot on the All-EuroBasket Team, along with Giannis Antetokounmpo (Greece), Rudy Gobert (France), Willy Hernangomez (Spain), and Lorenzo Brown (Spain).
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