Spain failed to defend their title but they will not go home with their heads bowed down after securing the bronze medal in the FIBA EuroBasket Men 2013 in Slovenia.
The defending champions made sure that they won’t go home empty-handed after scoring a 92-66 rout of Croatia in their bronze-medal match on Sunday night.
Spain took control of the match right from the opening period that ended with them ahead 23-18. The Spanish squad kept the Croatian squad at bay in the second and third quarters then punctuated their dominance with a stellar fourth-quarter performance en route to the win.
Sergio Llull led Spain with 21 points on 8-for-15 shooting including five three-pointers, while Marc Gasol racked up 17 points and eight rebounds. Victor Claver had 16 points and six assists, while Rudy Fernandez and Jose Calderon added eight points apiece.
“We already value this medal and for sure we will value it even more in the future,” said Spain point guard Sergio Rodriguez after the game. “We all wanted gold and play in the final, but we played the semi-final until overtime and it couldn’t be. I think now we have to leave here satisfied, not only for our tournament but also for the work we did these two months.”
Bojan Bogdanovic, on the other hand, led Croatia with 22 points on 8-for-14 shooting, while Roko Ukic chipped in 12 points to go along with four rebounds and four assists.
Meanwhile, France, which defeated Spain in the semifinals of this year’s European Championship, bagged their first European title after defeating Lithuania, 80-66, in the finals.
Nicolas Batum finished with 17 points and six rebounds, while Boris Diaw added 15 points. Tony Parker, who was named as the tournament’s MVP, had 12 points for France, which improved from their silver-medal finish in the EuroBasket Men 2011.