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Spaniards clinch Eurobasket crown

BERLIN, Germany (AFP) — Spain started fast, racing to a 10-point lead, and then held off an experienced French team the rest of the way to win the Eurobasket final, 88-76, in Berlin on Sunday.

Even though Spain was using this tournament to rebuild, with eight of its 12-man squad in their first international tournament, they continued to dominate Europe.

This was its fourth Eurobasket title in the last six tournaments.

Spain led by as many as 21 points in the second quarter and although France closed to within three in the third, Spain responded with nine straight points and was never threatened again.

“They made a very good start, we played behind the whole game,” said one of France’s National Basketball Associaton stars Rudy Gobert of the Timberwolves.

“Players like Juancho (Hernangomez) came in and had a big impact on the game. We had some good sequences but it wasn’t enough.”

“So close, it’s hard to let that go,” Gobert said.

“We had to go out and get it.”

The scoring was dominated by NBA players, Juan Hernangomez, a power forward who has just been traded to the Toronto Raptors, had 27.

Evan Fournier, a New York Knicks guard, was top scorer for the French with 23.

In the third-place playoff, host Germany crushed Poland, 82-69, with Dennis Schroeder scoring 26 points.

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