Spain finally won their first ever gold in a Eurobasket after cruising past Serbia with 85-63 in the final match of the tournament.
Spain, carrying the traumatic experience of the last Eurobasket in their home, showed right from the beginning that they would not let this one slip out of their hands also. With fantastic defense and being great on offense Spain easily got a 10 point lead after the first quarter (24-24), only to further grow it in the second.
The Serbs managed to cut down the difference to 8 twice, but that was as close as they would get. Spain had set the pace and they were intending to keep it being up by 23 at halftime (52-29), practically putting an early end to the game.
The second half was pretty much balanced and relaxed as the Spaniards easily kept their lead and the game under control until the end. The final score was 85-63.
Spain 85 – 63 Serbia
Spain: P.Gasol 18, Fernandez 13, Rubio 10, Navarro 12, Claver 2, Reyes 7, Cabezas 7, Lopez 2, Llull 5, M.Gasol 6, Mumbru, Garbajosa 3
Serbia: Popovic 1, Tepic 2, Teodosic 5, Paunic 1, Bjelica, Markovic 2, Tripkovic 15, Raduljica 6, Krstic 12, Perovic 4, Velickovic 15, Macvan
Sergio Scariolo (Spain Coach):
"It's a day we've been dreaming about since July. The most impressive thing is not that we did it, but how we did it, dominating the last few games. My players showed great professionalism, commitment and trust in this tournament. I want to thank also my coaching staff for their advice, as well as the Spanish federation, for letting me driving this Ferrari."
Pau Gasol (Spain):
"We are extremely happy with this outcome. For the last five and a half games we've been playing amazingly well. We worked very hard to win this championship and I am super proud of my teammates, as well coaching staff. We played this game exactly how we wanted – starting with intensity, confidence and just being happy to play basketball."
Dusan Ivkovic (Serbia Coach):
"The Spanish team was better tonight and they absolutely deserved this win. They are playing so many years together, which gives them a big advantage. I'm very happy and satisfied with our performance here, I can say that we won a medal earlier than we expected it to happen. Today I think for the first time my players felt the pressure of the final game. For example we rebounded the ball only seven times during the first half, compared to 24 for Spain. The other reason was that our bench players didn't help us tonight as they did in previous games."
Nemanja Bjelica (Serbia):
"Spain deserved their victory, they controlled the game for the full 40 minutes. Our goal here was to qualify for the World Championships in Turkey, we did it, and we also a silver medal. Everybody in Serbia is satisfied and we are satisfied too."