Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Spain wins FIBA EuroBasket 2022 with victory vs. France, Willy Hernangomez named MVP

After an exciting tournament, Spain took home the gold medal at FIBA EuroBasket 2022 with a 88-76 victory over France on Sunday. Toronto Raptors forward Juancho Hernangomez led the way for Spain with 27 points and five rebounds, while his brother, Willy Hernangomez of the New Orleans Pelicans added 14 points and eight rebounds of his own. 

Willy Hernangomez was named the MVP of the tournament with averages 17.2 points and 6.9 rebounds per game. New York Knicks guard Evan Fournier paced France with 23 points and a pair of assists, while Minnesota Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert added six points and six rebounds. Ultimately though, their production just wasn’t enough to bring home the gold for France. 

“It’s hard to explain how I feel with words. I am very proud of my teammates, the coaching staff, the whole Spanish federation – from the top to the bottom,” Hernangomez said of Spain’s victory. “We much deserve this gold medal, the way we grew and developed through the tournament. It was something amazing. The trust that was inside the locker room was something special. I’m just so proud, so lucky to be around those guys. Because they trusted me from the beginning. I’m just thankful to be part of this amazing team.”

The victory was Spain’s fourth gold medal in EuroBasket history, with all of those victories coming since 2009. Spain also won the tournament in 2009, 2011 and 2015. All four of those gold medals also came under head coach Sergio Scariolo, who was very happy with his team’s performance in this year’s tournament. 

“It’s easy to be happy as a basketball coach. We went into this championship ranked eighth in the power rankings, and we managed to climb step by step,” Scariolo said of his team. “We left behind unbelievable teams – this last one, an incredible team full of top level players, all-stars — at this extremely high level EuroBasket. It’s amazing to see the final standings and to see we are above all those great teams. 

“I am happy for the team,” Scariolo added. “It’s been a great journey. I feel so happy because we played great basketball — let alone the generosity, the human values which of course fill up your soul. We played great defense, we played great offense. The limitations we have could have led to a sloppy offense, a low-scoring basketball team. We were instead excellent in playing basketball, sharing the ball, a lot of assists, unselfishness, good execution, patience when it was time to be patient, to overcome difficult moments as a team, not just as individuals. I am just happy as a coach.”  

Spain now has the third-most gold medal wins in EuroBasket history, behind only the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia — two teams that are both now defunct. 

Here’s a look at the final standings for EuroBasket 2022: 

1. Spain

2. France

3. Germany

4. Poland

5. Greece

6. Slovenia

7. Finland

8. Italy

9. Serbia

10. Turkey

11. Ukraine

12. Croatia

13. Montenegro

14. Belgium

15. Lithuania

16. Czech Republic

17. Israel

18. Bosnia and Herzegovina

19. Estonia

20. Bulgaria

21. Georgia

22. Netherlands

23. Hungary

24. Great Britain  

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