Led by Pau Gasol’s monster performance Thursday (40 points, 11 boards and 3 blocks), Spain booted France out of EuroBasket 2015 with a 80-75 semifinal win.
Gasol was absolutely dominant, punishing French defenders time and again under the hoop.
— Chicago Bulls (@chicagobulls) September 17, 2015
26,2922 peopled showed up for the game at Pierre Mauroy Stadium in Lille, setting a new attendance record for an indoor hoops game in Europe.
From the tourney website:
The overwhelmingly French crowd however had their dreams of a title repeat for Les Bleus shattered by Spain who prevailed 80-75 after overtime in a memorable clash that became an instant classic of European basketball.
Spain came back from an 11-point third-quarter deficit and a Sergio Rodriguez lay-up lifted them to a 66-63 lead with 16 seconds remaining in regulation, but Nicolas Batum knocked down a three-pointer to tie the scores and send the game in the extra period. […] Batum however missed three crucial free-throws with 15 seconds left in overtime and Gasol, who poured in an international career-high 40 points and added 11 rebounds to power the winners, signed off Spain’s historic triumph with a dunk at the final buzzer.
Spain had given France a taste of their own medicine and found perdition for their defeat to France in the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup, in Madrid. […] “Last year was very hard for us, for our team to lose in the quarter-finals but it happens and they deserved it, they worked harder for it and we came out flat and we paid the price,” Gasol said. “So I wanted to win tonight. […] It was not payback or anything, it was just winning a very difficult game against the team which I think were the favourites for the tournament in front of their fans. I was obviously extremely motivated tonight, as I have been through the tournament.”