Spain Claims Repeat Gold

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — In a competition filled with exquisite guard play, Spain got the most consistently brilliant effort from one of the world’s best in Juan Carlos Navarro on its way to repeat gold at EuroBasket 2011.

Navarro’s 27 points lifted Spain past France Sunday in Lithuania, punctuating their tournament-long dominance with a 98-85 win over Tony Parker and his crew.

Navarro’s perimeter game was complemented perfectly by the inside presence of Pau Gasol and his younger brother Marc Gasol, who took turns carrying the load for Spain throughout the competition. But it was Navarro’s relentlessness that marked Spain’s run throughout this tournament and throughout Sunday’s title game.

In a matchup with another one of the world’s most dynamic scoring guards in Parker, Navarro proved up to the task, as did his stellar ensemble cast. Pau Gasol had 17 points, 10 rebounds, four assists and three blocks. Marc Gasol added 11 points, six rebounds, two blocks and two assists. Navarro’s backcourt mate Jose Calderon finished with 17 points of his own. Serge Ibaka blocked five shots in his 21 minutes, showing during a five-minute stretch of the second quarter as Spain built a 10-point advantage that would not be surrendered.

Parker’s Supporting cast wasn’t nearly as potent in this contest. Boris Diaw had 12 points , Joakim Noah had 11 and eight rebounds and Nicolas Batum finished with 10 points.

Navarro’s 27-point showing in the final came after he dropped 35 on Macedonia in the semifinals. He was named the Most Valuable Player of the competition as Spain became the first team to repeat as EuroBasket champs since Yugoslavia in 1997. Parker, Pau Gasol, Russia’s Andrei Kirilenko and Macedonia’s Bo McCalebb joined Navarro on the All-Tournament team.

It’s a righteous fab five, and the exact same one the HT crew (NBA.com’s John Schuhmann served as my partner in basketball crime throughout EuroBasket and the FIBA Americas championship) would have selected.

Russia beat Macedonia 72-68 in the bronze medal game earlier Sunday. All four teams, along with the fifth-place Lithuania and sixth-place Greece guaranteed that they will be in action against next July. Spain and France earned automatic bids to the London Olympics by making the gold medal game. The third through sixth-place finishers will all continue their pursuit of Olympic invitations at a qualifying tournament before the games begin in July 2012.

Field for 2012 Olympics
Team How
United States 2010 World Champion
Great Britain Host
Tunisia FIBA Africa Champion
Australia FIBA Oceania Champion
Argentina FIBA Americas Champion
Brazil FIBA Americas 2nd place
Spain Eurobasket Champion
France Eurobasket 2nd place
Team 9 FIBA Asia Champion
Team 10 2012 Qualifier
Team 11 2012 Qualifier
Team 12 2012 Qualifier
Field for 2012 Olympic Qualifying Tournament
Team How
Angola FIBA Africa 2nd place
Nigeria FIBA Africa 3rd place
New Zealand FIBA Oceania 2nd place
Dominican Republic FIBA Americas 3rd place
Puerto Rico FIBA Americas 4th place
Venezuela FIBA Americas 5th place
Russia Eurobasket 3rd place
FYR Macedonia Eurobasket 4th place
Lithuania Eurobasket 5th place
Greece Eurobasket 6th place
Team 11 FIBA Asia 2nd place
Team 12 FIBA Asia 3rd place

12 Comments

  1. cherrypopper says:

    The 5th part of Die Hard will be filmed in Macedonia !

    😀

    MAKEDONIJA !
    MAKEDONIJA !
    MAKEDONIJA !
    MAKEDONIJA !

  2. Moses says:

    Hey Sekou,

    I know you are a fan of Bo McCalebb and Team Macedonia, so I just wanted to share with you the HEROS welcome of Team Macedonia for winning the 4th place and the hearts of everyone with their stile of play!

    Take care,
    Moe

  3. Luke says:

    Too bad nobody will be bale to compete with the us in the olympics hahaha

  4. Max says:

    How wrong were Memphis to treat Navarro as a second-rate player. He’s such a GREAT player. Now catalans are enjoying him in Barcelona and our league every year is getting worse He deserved to stay here, and the most time as possible!!! Congrats spaniards. Thanks Navarro to show the americans what basketball is!

  5. DimesnD says:

    Spain was the best team, no doubt. But how in the hell did Navarro get 12 FT to France’s 13 combined FT (2 of which came from a Rudy Fer clothesline job on Parker)

    Russia/Lithuania/Macedonia should get 2 spots. China gets the other by having the home court advantage in the Asia tourney. Iran looks like another contender.

    But it really doesn’t matter if these guys come out to play. Paul/Rose – Kobe/Wade – Lebron/Melo/Durrant – Griffin/Love/Amare – Howard/Bynum

  6. Jesús says:

    Oh yeaa spain rules!! all sports

  7. Carlos says:

    Hey!

    I’m looking forward to a US-Spain final clash in the Olympics!

    I’d say Spain could possibly beat USA now they have a more physical player like Ibaka on FIBA rules, but they would suffer a painful defeat on an NBA court.

    Cheers!

  8. J.I. Villanueva says:

    We are extremely happy in Spain for having such a group of good players, and most of all a group of friends. We don’t have so many all-stars as U.S,A: but one thing is for sure, in Spain we have the best group, the best team, not only for their basket skills, but for his human attitudes. Thanks a lot! Gasols, Navarro, Ricky, Rudy, Calderón, Ibaka, San Emeterio, Reyes, Llull, Sada, and Claver!

  9. blazerfan says:

    is it me or did the dude sound way to exited to be doing a highlight reel thats what the lockout does to ya

  10. Jose says:

    Incredible Spain! The best europen team ever. They arent only a TEAM, they are FRIENDS. Navarro following Drazen Petrovic for the best SG in European history. Good job guys!

  11. Sam says:

    Haha there are only two teams in the Oceania comp.