EuroBasket Final 2007: Russia annoys the Spanish party

por Roberto Anidos publicado en 2007 Decade 2000 EuroBasket Russia Spain

In the summer of 2007, the Eurobasket of Madrid was celebrated. In the final of the European Championship, the most favorite, if there can be in a final of this type was Spain who played at home, was the reigning world champion and was a team. But in the final they faced a very good Russia and a Spain that did not play its best game being able the responsibility. An immense Kirilenko and a victorious basket of Holden, gave the European gold to Russia by 60-59

In the semifinals Spain beat Greece by 82-77 and on the other side Russia beat Lithuania by 86-74. In the fight for bronze Lithuania beat Greece 78-69.

Russia, a fearsome opponent, and statistics (the hosts had not won a Eurobasket since 1993) did not bode well for an easy final for Spain. And so it was. Our team had a bad day, and despite appealing to Spain’s legendary fury – the one that seemed destined to endure only in memory – they could not become European champions against a rival that beat them two seconds from time. Gasol, on the horn, had the opportunity to give Spain the Eurobasket, but the ball went out of the way and Spain had to settle for silver. Russia succeeds Greece as European champion.

The world champions came out in a tromba
Spain, led by Rudy Fernandez and Jose Manuel Calderon, and supported by an impressive rebound dominance, went 15-4 in just five minutes. After the spectacular initial start the Spanish team significantly lowered its offensive pace and only a consistent Marc Gasol, and the defense of Spain (four steals), avoided the Russian comeback. In the last second of the first four Heads was played a forced triple on the horn that put a hopeful 22-11 in the bright.

The three pointers kept us afloat
The start of the second quarter followed the same course as the first, Spain attacking with a certain solvency and Russia could not overcome the intense, but not perfect, defense of ours. A triple from Garbajosa put Spain twelve up (25-13), but a couple of hasty attacks prevented us from putting more face to the final. The limited Savrasenko, who was going to say it, broke us in the painting and placed Russia to six points (25-19). At that precise moment Spain’s attack began to make waters, and three isolated triples managed to cover our offensive deficiencies to allow us to reach the rest 34-31.

A third quarter for oblivion
With only three points up it could seem that Spain would suffer the pressure of being the favorite and having to win ‘their’ Eurobasket, and it may be so. In less than a rooster crows the Spaniards went 40-31 to show the Russians who are the reigning world champions, but Spain could not consummate their escape. As in the second quarter, Spain missed several opportunities to regain the ten-point lead and their attack was again entrenched (42-39). Russia’s lack of attacking success and the NBA’s punctual touches of genius kept us at the top (49-46) despite our very bad game.

The fury wasn’t enough
A Russian triple and a Holden basket at the start of the fourth quarter put Russia two above (49-51), completely dislocating Pepu Hernandez’s men. But the Spanish bird lasted only a few seconds, until a triplazo of Garbajosa and a stratospheric plug of Gasol returned us the advantage in the scoreboard and maddened to a public dedicated to the cause patria. Our team, aware that it was living a bad day, appealed to the legendary Spanish fury (translated into a titanic fight for each rebound) and free throws (with Pau Gasol as the main character) to survive, but it was not enough. The Russians came within one point (59-58) with 43 seconds to go and Spain failed to react and lost their next attack. Possession of Russia to win the match and…. Holden scores 02:37. Pepu asks for time out in search of the miracle….. Carlos Jiménez shoots, receives Gasol, throws on the horn… and the ball comes out from inside after hitting the board! Russia champion of Europe, Spain second and elegant ovation of the Madrid public to the Russian players.

Russia 60
*Holden – 8p, 2br.
*Samoylenko – 0p, 2r.
*Khryapa – 7p, 12r.
*Kirilenko – 17p, 5r.
*Savrasenko – 10p, 1r.
Ponkrashov – 8p, 2a.
Padius – 0p.
Pashutin – 3p, 3r.
Monya – 3p, 1r.
Morgunov – 4p, 2r.

Spain 59
*Calderon – 15p, 4r.
*Fernandez – 5p, 2r.
*Jimenez – 5p, 5r.
*Reyes – 5p, 8r.
*P.Gasol – 14p, 14r.
Cabezas – 2p, 1a.
Navarro – 0p, 1a.
Mumbru – 0p, 1r.
Garbajosa – 8p, 6r.
M.Gasol – 5p, 1br.
B.Rodriguez – 0p.
S.Rodriguez – 0p.