Sunday, 20 September 2009

Eurobasket final - The live blog

SPAIN ARE THE EUROBASKET CHAMPIONS. Final score: Spain 85 Serbia 63. It's a blowout in the final. But let's not forget Spain were the favourites and they've finished in style here. It's fiesta time as Rudy Fernandez cuts down the nets. The Serbs look devastated on the bench but they've over-achieved here.

Spain out-rebound their rivals 42-24 and shoot 59%. Easy. Bill Russell and Oscar Robertson presenting the All-Tournament team prizes (Teodosic, Spanoulis, Fernandez, Lorbek and P. Gasol) and the MVP award - to Pau Gasol. But it is Juan Carlos Navarro who raises the bauble that matters most as the red and yellow fanaticos celebrate.

“I’m so proud of my team-mates and grateful to all the coaching staff that got us to this point,” said Gasol “I’m so happy to help Spain win this title for the first time. We started the tournament slowly and we were not playing collectively.
“But the last five and a half games we have played amazingly well. We came together when it mattered – at the end of the championships.”

What a fortnight it's been. Until Turkey 2010, adios.

2:11 Spain 81 Serbia 56 29 points the biggest lead of the game. This has been a masterclass from the Spaniards. And - despite the occasionally lacklustre promotion of Eurobasket within Poland - there's been so many good memories over the fortnight. Pau kisses two team-mates as he heads off with 18 points and 11 rebounds. Just the MVP award to come for the Laker to cap a fabulous 2009.

6:28 Spain 75 Serbia 48. Memories of disappointment in Madrid of two years ago - and the five other runners-up medals - slowly drifting away now. Spain, so hideous early on in Poland, have come good at the right time - and then some. Serbia, still young, have an immense future ahead. But the world champions have really proven themselves a class apart. The chant of "Campeones" begins. Let the bench running begin.

End 3rd. Spain 67 Serbia 44. An even quarter. Spain now 10 minutes away their coronation. The Spanish flags a fluttering in the huge yellow and red section in the Spodek. Their team winning the battle of the boards 32-16. Ouch. Pau has 16 and 10. Kristic 12 and 4.

3:25 Spain 58 Serbia 44 A 13-2 run suddenly ignites the game again. Surely not a comeback?
6:00 Spain 56 Serbia 37 The Spaniards playing astonishing defence. Velkovic, who'll play for Real Madrid next season, hits the three to cap an 8-0 run which brings the deficit within 20. Woo-pee-do. Ricky's playing his best tie of the tourney. The Spaniards call time-out.

HALF -TIME Spain 52 Serbia 29. It's men against boys here. The biggest lead as Pau takes his tally to 14 points and 8 rebounds on the buzzer but the Spanish in total and complete command and playing like world champions should. Serbia have no answer. Tripkovic has 10 of their 26 points but they're been out-classed. There really should be no way back.

BBC Sport's Rob Dugdale: Katowice - Spain's Champagne basketball continues - lead Serbia by 52-29 at half-time. What have the Serbs got in response in the second half?

3:07 Spain 43 Serbia 22. Chants of MVP inside the Spodek Arena after Pau takes his tally to 9 points. This is looking like a massacre. Remember when the Serbs beat Spain 66-57 in the first round before Espana was almost eliminated by Britain? Seems like another age now.

6:00 left in 2ndQ: Spain 33 Serbia 18. The Serbs shaking off their early nerves to get into this game. But Pau finishes an alley opp then Rudy finishes a break before Ricky's score forces a time-out.

End 1st Q: Spain 24 Serbia 14. Spain led 24-9 before a late 5-0 burst. What a start with an 8-0 run. Navarro is en fuego. He has 7. Plus Spain's defence is terrific. If not for Tripkovic's shooting, the underdogs would be a huge hole already. But we have wireless issues. Stay tuned.

2115 The anthems are done. The arena is jumping. Can Spain end their long await for a victory or will Serbia - average age 22 - lay down a marker for the new golden generation? This is going to be a gripping climax.

2100 Spanish absentee, Jose Calderon, speaking on FIBAE TV: "It's been tough for everyone. Since day one, they started at a low level but they've been getting better. The problem was playing and practicing without Pau Gasol. He's too important for us. We needed time. It's better now. But we need the last step in Eurobasket and that's the gold. We've been close too many times."

2050 So after 13 days, 53 games and a jaunt around Poland, it's come down to one game. Spain against Serbia for the Eurobasket 2009. A packed arena in Katowice. Celtics' great Bill Russell in the house. It's all shaping up to be a stunning finale to a tournament that has seen a huge number of wonderful games.

Earlier, Greece edged Slovenia 57-56 in the bronze medal game after Bostjan Nachbar missed a difficult shot from nearly half court with the buzzer. The poor Slovenes but their fans have provided so many of the great memories from this tournament. France finish fifth, courtesy of a 69-62 win over Croatia. While soon-to-be dethroned champs Russia thrashed Turkey 89-66 for seventh. But frankly, who cares? It's all about the victory now and the glory of gold. All tweets and comments welcome.

1 comment:

  1. Hey thanks a lot for sharing the information...

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