Spain: Back-to-Back EuroBasket Champions

by September 19, 2011

Spain continues to dominate European hoops, as they defended their EuroBasket title with a victory over France. From the NY Times: “Spain became the first team to repeat as EuroBasket champions since 1997 on Sunday night when it defeated France, 98-85, in Kaunas, Lithuania. As the Spanish players embraced and danced at center court to celebrate their gold medal, it was the culmination of a tournament in which they dominated from start to finish. Yugoslavia in 1997 had been the last team to defend its European title. The Spanish were led through the knockout round by Juan Carlos Navarro. He scored 35 points against Macedonia in the semifinals, then added 27 in the final to cement his receiving the tournament’s most valuable player honors. Although it was no surprise that Navarro would play the leading role in the Spanish offense, he could not be stopped in the final. As he has done his entire career, he remained calm during the game’s biggest moments, and delivered a gold to Spain. The French held their own during a gold medal matchup that many had anticipated from the start of the tournament. Tony Parker had 26 points to lead a French offense that seemed to find a reliable spark off the bench throughout the tournament. In the final, however, any contribution from the French bench was absent.”