In the semifinals Spain lost in extra time to a more successful France in the final sprint of the match by 72-75. In the other semifinal Lithuania beat Croatia 77-62. In the fight for bronze Spain is much better than the Croatians and the metal is for us after a clear 92-66.
The French team was proclaimed, for the first time in its history, champion of Europe when defeating in the final of the Eurobasket to that of Lithuania by 80-66.
The match lacked emotion since in the second quarter, the Gauls dynamited the game with a partial of 31-12, which allowed them to have a quiet end in the could savor what is already their first big win in Europe.
The theoretical superiority in pivots of the Lithuanians, did not have any transfer to the scoreboard, almost the opposite. Ajinca dominated in the first minutes, while Lithuanian coach Jonas Kazlauskas was introducing his great battery of replacements in this position.
First it was Darjus Lavrinovic, then Robertas Javtokas and later the player of the Toronto Raptors of the NBA Jonas Valanciunas without obtaining a superiority in painting. Almost the opposite, because an almost marginal player like Johan Petro stood on a wall against which the tall Lithuanian men crashed.
In fact entered as a refreshment of Ajinca and remained the entire second quarter on track given its great performance.
Lithuania dominated the first quarter by 19-22, thanks to the excellent scoring level of Linas Kleiza, author of 11 points, while in France, Nicolas Batum was the most successful, although almost all his teammates saw hoop.
France don’t have a chance
The Baltic tried to come out in the second quarter with a more aggressive defense and, at times, changed to zone. Craso error, France found its turning point there and shot itself in the scoreboard, with Batum as stiletto, with a partial of 31-12, to march to changing rooms with a 50-34 that meant half a title, at least.
In addition, the last move was like a knife in the Lithuanian heart, because not only did he lose a stupid ball with nine tenths of a second to go, but he also allowed Diot to shoot three times, which he did!
Lithuania, more out of anger than intelligence, tried to get back into the game and the final but the success, now, of Diaw (13 points in the third quarter) and the direction of Tony Parker, a true artist to control the tempo of the game made all their efforts useless.
As the clock went on, the Lithuanian players stopped believing in themselves and trying to solve individually all the problems that had led them to the limit situation of finishing the third quarter losing by 18 points, 68-50.
With such an advantage with just ten minutes to go, France felt like champions and limited themselves to managing their income, savouring every moment of the match in the face of their imminent coronation as European champions.