EuroBasket 2015, gold medal game: Spain conquers gold!

Sep 20, 2015 by Euroleague.net Print
EuroBasket 2015, gold medal game: Spain conquers gold!

Spain is the EuroBasket 2015 champion! Spain claimed its third gold medal in four editions - and its eighth medal since 1999 - by downing Lithuania 80-63 in the title game in Lille, France on Sunday. As many as 20 Turkish Airlines Euroleague and Eurocup players were on the two rosters. Four of them - Rudy Fernandez, Felipe Reyes, Sergio Llull and Sergio Rodriguez - won the Euroleague, the Spanish League and the Spanish Cup with Real Madrid in 2015, added a gold medal at EuroBasket 2015 and can add two more titles - the Spanish Supercup and the Intercontinental Cup - in the upcoming weeks. Lithuania claimed its second consecutive silver medal in the tournament. Both Spain and Lithuania had already qualified to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil with semifinals victories in the tournament. Lithuania will be in its seventh consecutive Olympics - all since the country regained independence. Spain will look for its third consecutive medal in the men's basketball tournament. Pau Gasol led the winners with 25 points and 12 rebounds, and was chosen as the tournament's MVP. Three Euroleague stars - Rodriguez, Jonas Maciulis of Real Madrid ad Nando de Colo of CSKA Moscow - joined Gasol and Jonas Valanciunas on the all-tournament team. Llull added 12 points while Fernandez had 11 for Spain before leaving the game with an injury. Renaldas Seibutis and his Zalgiris Kaunas teammate Mantas Kalnietis led Lithuania with 13 points each.

Llull got Spain going with back-to-back layups and then a baseline jumper by Fernandez gave their team a 6-2 lead. Fernandez struck from downtown and Gasol followed a jumper with a slam to make it a double-digit game, 15-4. Gasol kept pacing Spain and a dunk in traffic by Mindaugas Kuzminskas of Unicaja Malaga brought Lithuania only to within 19-8 after 10 minutes. Spain's outstanding defense forced Lithuania into 4-of-15 shooting and 7 turnovers in the first quarter. Consecutive jumpers by Fernandez broke the game open, 25-10, early in the second quarter. Seibutis stepped up with a coast-to-coast layup and Kalnietis added consecutive baskets, but Nikola Mirotic and Gasol kept Spain way ahead, 34-18. Lithuania found a go-to guy in Seibutis, who struck twice from downtown to bring his team within single digits, 37-29. A buzzer-beating triple by Maciulis fixed the halftime score at 40-31. Pau Ribas of FC Barcelona Lassa and Llull took over after the break to keep Spain out of trouble, 45-33. Antanas Kavaliausks dunked for Lithuania, but a 7-0 run that Ribas capped with a three-pointer made it a 17-point game, 52-35. Fernandez left the game with a back injury but Spain kept running its offense through an unstoppable Gasol to get a 60-43 margin after 30 minutes. Lithuania needed a quick comeback to keep its chances alive and Maciulis tried to ignite one with a layup which Victor Claver of Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar matched with a dunk. Nothing changed after that, as Spain cruised to the top of the podium!