FIBA EuroBasket 2025
Photo: FIBA Basketball

FIBA World Cup winners Spain and France will contest this year’s EuroBasket final in Berlin on Sunday in perhaps one of the most unpredictable rollercoasters we’ve been part of.

For a final that very few people anticipated, given the talent that was on display, perhaps we lost sight of the pedigree that exists in the Spanish and French programme.

“Nobody counted on us,” said Spain’s Juancho Hernangomez. “Nobody trusted us before the tournament. But in the locker room, we see each other as champions.”

Team basketball, overcoming adversity, keeping your cool when your backs are against the wall. Both teams did that throughout this tournament. Their reward? Sunday’s championship game and a rematch of the 2011 EuroBasket final.

But the celebrations will not start until the final buzzer.

“We are in a final and there is still work to do,” said Spain’s Willy Hernangomez.

“It’s going to be a very tough, very difficult final, but what else is new? That’s how all our games so far have been but we’re fighters and we will give our all every second of the game.”

Spain’s Rudy Fernandez won EuroBasket gold in 2009, 2011 and 2015. He will be aiming for a fourth on Sunday. Photo:

“It feels great [to be in the Final], it’s a dream for us,” added France big man Rudy Gobert. “I’ve never won a gold medal. I have a lot of silver and a lot of bronze and I need that gold. This was the goal when we started preparation. Now we have one more game.”

It will be an important battle at both ends of the floor for both Willy Hernangomez and Gobert as they will both look to impact the game for their respective sides.

Both have impressed during the tournament with Hernangomez leading Spain in scoring with an average of 17.6 points a game and Gobert being his side’s x-factor during the latter stages of their last knockout games.

However, you can’t overlook Lorenzo Brown has been starting to flourish and making Spain tick at the crucial point guard position. Brown has averaged 15.4 points on 48 percent shooting along with 7.1 assists. He also scored a tournament-high 29 points in the semi-final win over Germany.

Rudy Gobert has enjoyed his EuroBasket. But it means nothing without the gold medal, which would be France’s first since 2013. Crédit: Getty Images


Sunday’s final also renews a legendary battle on the sidelines.

Spain’s Sergio Scariolo and France’s Vincent Collet were both head coaches in the 2011 EuroBasket final in Kaunas and also in the unforgettable semi-final in 2015 in Lille, the latter of which went to overtime.

Scariolo came up victorious on both occasions. Collet, himself has conquered the Spanish machine in Ljubljana in the semi-finals in 2013, en route to winning the tournament. However, Scariolo had departed the national team only to return in time for EuroBasket 2015.

Since the Italian’s return to the fold, Spain have found success again. This year, might be his greatest achievement should they get the job done.

“I cannot find the words to congratulate my players,” Scariolo said. “Really above any expectations. The most satisfactory medal. Built on hard work, togetherness, team basketball, the desire to overcome our limits and big guts in the fourth quarter once again.”

And fourth quarter comebacks – or comebacks in general – have been Spain’s forte at EuroBasket. A team considered by many as “dark horses” before it all started have certainly had their backs against the wall.

Down double-digits in all three knockout games against Lithuania, Finland and Germany. Scariolo rallied his troops and they listened to his every word.

On the flip side, Collet’s French brigade pulled off the biggest EuroBasket semi-final win in 30 years against Poland and have a team stacked with experience, including Thomas Heurtel, who won the title in 2013.

Collet has been quietly focusing on the task at hand, desperate to make amends for the disappointment of 2017. Silver at the Tokyo Olympics was satisfaction, but this is the old enemy, Spain and EuroBasket.

He possibly won’t admit it, but the loss on home soil in 2015 in-front of 26,922 passionate French locals hurt. To gain revenge and put France back on top of the international mountain in Europe would be perfect.


Spain vs. France is live on Courtside 1891, tipping-off on Sunday night at 18:30 CET.

Photo: FIBA