The reigning Spanish world champions, having to do without the previous supports of the Gasol brothers and Sergio Rodríguez, are attacking for their fourth European title. German basketball players will play in the semifinals of the European Championship after 17 years.
At the beginning of the playoffs, the Finns managed to defeat Croatia, mainly thanks to Markkanen’s 43 points, and they also played well against Spain. After Mikael Jantunen’s shot from his own half of the field with the horn, they won the first quarter 30:19 and led by as many as 15 points in the second.
However, the tide began to turn in the second half. In addition to the New Orleans pivot Hernangómez and his brother Juancho from Toronto, who are the best Spanish scorers, the veteran Rudy Fernández also deserved it with a competitive performance. The 37-year-old scored 11 points, including three triples and five steals.
“Rudy is playing the best tournament of his life. He is amazing. And his back, his neck, his knee, everything, but he goes into everything without fear. He throws himself on the court like eighteen. He leads. by example in the best way. He is a tremendous leader,” Spanish coach Sergio Scariolo praised Fernández.
He quietly dismissed questions about whether the Spanish captain would be in the national team after the European Championships. “Why would he quit? When he’s healthy, I think he’ll continue. His role in the team is different than he’s ever had. And that’s great, because he’s experiencing something completely new,” he said.
The Spaniards also got two three-point baskets by Sasu Salina. The Finnish shooter, who converted five in the Round of 16 against Croatia, finished the championship with 22 three-pointers, currently the most of any player. Thirty-eight-year-old Shawn Huff and four years younger Petteri Koponen said goodbye to the Finnish jersey. “There was a time when we just wanted to play in EuroBasket and now we are in the top eight. My body is good enough, but Finnish basketball is rising. I am not worried about the future,” Koponen said on the Eurohoops website.
The match between Germany and Greece was balanced for a long time, although the German players significantly outscored the opponent from the start in shooting from distance. The end of the first half belonged to the Greek players. Tyler Dorsey returned the score at 58:57 and Kostas Slukas, despite being surrounded by two opponents, hit a siren basket shot in the half court.
The home team destroyed the opponent in the third quarter, which they dominated by 26:10. Both main stars did not finish the match. Five minutes before the end, Janis Adetokunbo committed a second unsportsmanlike foul, and moments later Dennis Schröder, who contributed to Germany’s win with 26 points and eight assists, followed him early into the locker room.
“It was an extraordinary evening, the likes of which German basketball has never experienced. It’s almost unbelievable,” said Andreas Obst, who contributed 19 points to the win. The Germans can still dream of repeating the medal success of 2005, when Dirk Nowitzki led them to silver. The former NBA star applauded the performance of his followers in the Berlin hall itself.
|European Basketball Championship in Berlin – Quarterfinals:|
|Spain – Finland 100:90 (19:30, 43:52, 73:67)|
|Most points: W. Hernangómez 27, J. Hernangómez 15, Brizuela 14 – Markkanen 28, Jantunen 18, Madsen 13,|
|Germany – Greece 107:96 (31:27, 57:61, 83:71)|
|Most points: Schröder 26, Obst and F. Wagner 19 each, Theis 13 – J. Adetokunbo 31, Larentzakis 18, Dorsey 13.|