SPAIN RECLAIM EURO THRONE

Spain captured the EuroBasket title for the third time in four attempts by sweeping aside Lithuania 80-63 with a dominating display in Lille.

Chicago Bulls centre Pau Gasol, the tournament’s Most Valuable Player, had a game-high 25 points and 12 rebounds and was instrumental as his side raced 23-8 ahead after 12 minutes in front of a European record crowd of 27,372.

Lithuania, seeking a first title since 2003, cut the gap to 41-33 at half-time but their shooting struggles and Gasol’s supremacy extended Spain’s cushion to 60-42 late in the third period and there was simply no route back.

“We got a jump on them early,” Gasol said. “Defensively, we got stops and made it hard for them. They were a younger team. A more inexperienced team. That’s a factor in finals like this because we’ve played a few. I don’t think it was an easy game but it was the sweetest victory because of the gold medal.”

 

Both teams qualify directly for the 2016 Olympics. Earlier, hosts France beat Serbia 81-68 in the bronze medal game.

EuroBasket All Star Five: Sergio Rodriguez, Nando de Colo, Jonas Maciulas, Jonas Valanciunas, Pau Gasol (MVP)

 

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