2022 FIBA EuroBasket came to an end on Sunday, with Spain returning to the top of Europe and claiming the title.
The Spaniards defied the odds and rallied past France in the Final (88-76) to claim the gold medal and wrap up a great summer for the Spanish national teams, which competed in the gold medal in both men’s and youth level.
As head coach Sergio Scariolo told accredited media, including Hedgeout.net, in the post-game presser, he was extremely happy that Spain exceeded expectations and proved doubters wrong.
Before the start of the EuroBasket, nobody believed that the Spaniards would make it to the Final of the tournament.
On the other hand, the French missed a great chance to solidify their place as the best European team, however they made it to the podium for another major FIBA tournament and their mission was successful.
Their best performance came in the semi-final vs Poland (54-95), yet they came up short in the Final and ended up second in the tournament. France was second in the 2021 Olympic Games as well.
EuroBasket was highlighted by several teams that emerged as the pleasant suprises of the tournament. Germany returned to the podium for the first time since 2005 and showed they have great potential in the post-Dirk Nowitzki era.
The hosts came very close to the gold medal, but lost to Spain in the semi-final (91-96) and eventually finished third. Poland finished fourth, its best position since 1971 (4th place).
Poland made the surprise and eliminated defending champions Slovenia in the quarter-final (87-90), but couldn’t deliver in their final two games in the EuroBasket.
Finland, led by superstar forward Lauri Markkanen, made it to the Top-8 for the first time in their history and eventually finished seventh, proving the progress they have made over the past years.
Italy also was one of the teams that stood out in the tournament, despite their 8th place. The Italians eliminated grand favorite Serbia in the Round of 16 (86-94), while they came a step away from the Top-4, losing to France in overtime (93-85).
Italy had a successful stint in the tournament, given the absence of star forward Danilo Gallinari (knee injury) and their poor performance in the group stage (4th, 3-2).
The three teams that failed to live up to the expectations were the three grand favorites, Serbia, Greece and Slovenia.
The Serbians saw Italy made a wild comeback from down 14 and got eliminated in the Round of 16, while the Greeks saw the Germans dominate the second haflf of their quarter-final (50-35) and cruise to the Top-4 (107-96).
Last but not least, the Slovenians struggled both against Belgium and against Poland and eventually lost to the Polish team in a late thriller in the quarter-final (87-90).
Lithuania and Turkey also were among the disappointments of the EuroBasket. The Lithuanians struggled since the group stage and clinched their ticket to the knockout stage in the final Day of Group B.
However, they came up short in the Round of 16 and saw Spain eliminate them in an overtime thriller (102-94).
On the other hand, the Turks had the chance to eliminate France in the Round of 16, but two missed free throws by Cedi Osman and some poor decisions in overtime cost them the victory and led to a painful elimination (86-87).
Overall, it was one of the most exciting and competitive tournaments in EuroBasket history, which was highlighted by a series of great matches, especially in the knockout stage.