Published on: September 19, 2022, 02:35 am.
Last update: September 19, 2022, 02:35.
Juancho Hernangomez couldn’t miss a 3-pointer as he led Spain to the gold medal at EuroBasket 2002 with a 88-76 win over France in the championship game in Berlin, Germany.
Jauncho Hernangomez dropped 27 points in the final for Spain, including 6 for 6 from beyond the arc in a huge second quarter. His older brother, Willy Hernangomez, scored an MVP-assured 14 points in the tournament.
With four EuroBasket gold medal wins, Spain is the third most successful country behind Russia (14) and Yugoslavia (8) in the popular European basketball tournament.
EuroBasket Champions / Gold Medalists (since 2003)
Spain won a EuroBasket gold medal for the fourth time in the last six tournaments dating back to 2009. In addition, Spain is the current champion of the FIBA World Cup, which was hosted in 2019 in China.
Spain entered EuroBasket 2022 as the fifth favorite on the DrafKings betting board at odds of +900. France were odds of +450 to win the gold medal and one of the three favourites, along with Serbia and Slovenia.
Willy and Jauncho Hernandez have gold for Spain
The EuroBasket 2022 gold medal came as a bit of a surprise for Spain, given that 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 the previous more experienced teams. They were rebuilding after the departures of the Gasol brothers. However, the Hernangomez brothers stepped in to help re-establish Spain as one of Europe’s elite basketball teams.
It’s easy to say that we are extremely happy.” said Spanish head coach Sergio Scariolo after the medal ceremony. “We entered this championship in eighth place in the power ranking and we managed to climb, step by step. It was amazing now to see that we are above all these great teams.”
Jauncho Hernangomez made a name for himself earlier this year as an actor in Adam Sandler’s recent Netflix film titled Hustle. In a rare dramatic role, Sandler played an NBA scout hoping to find the next superstar in Europe. Jauncho Hernangomez played Bo Cruz, an overseas basketball prospect from Spain trying to make it to the NBA.
Juancho Hernangomez has bounced around numerous NBA teams in his career, but recently signed a one-year deal 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 feel extremely proud of my teammates, my coaching staff, the entire Spanish federation from top to bottom,” Willy Hernangomez said after the match. “We really deserved this gold medal.”
France wins the silver medal, Germany wins the bronze
It was another disappointing finish for France. They placed second at the Tokyo Olympics last summer in Japan when they lost to Team USA in the gold medal match. They were looking for just their second EuroBasket title since beating Lithuania in 2013.
France entered the semi-finals as +160 betting favorites to win EuroBasket 2022. They crushed Poland by 41 points to secure a place in the gold medal match against Spain.
France had several notable NBA players on their roster, including Rudy Gobert (Timberwolves), Evan Founrier (Knicks) and Frank Ntilikina (Mavericks). They entered the EuroBasket championship game as three-point betting favorites against Spain.
France fell behind early and never recovered. Spain opened up a 20-plus point lead after Hernangomez’s barrage of trees in the second quarter, but France responded with an 11-0 run to cut the deficit to just ten points before halftime. However, France could not mount 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 didn’t execute ours well enough. I was never in 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 of the LA Lakers led all scorers with 26 points. Germany was a double-digit favorite but made 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).