The semifinals of EuroBasket 2022 have concluded. Here’s what went down.
France blows out Poland, 95-54
Poland was effectively the Cinderella in this year’s EuroBasket. With no active NBA players on the roster, a semifinals berth is nothing short of really, really great. But France, one of the world powers, led throughout the entire game, except right in the starting minutes. Guerschon Yabusele led Les Bleus with 22 points, and made 4-of-6 three poitners. France also shot 15-of-26 from the three-point line, kind of like the Wizards’ defense on a semi-regular basis.
(OKAY, THAT WAS HARSH!)
No Polish players scored in double figures. Given that Marcin Gortat played for the Wizards for several years recently, I was certainly rooting for them to go far in this tournament!
Spain edges out Germany, 96-91
It was a battle of the point guards between Germany’s Dennis Schroder and Spain’s Lorenzo Brown. Schroder scored 30 points and dished 8 assists while Brown had 29 points and 6 assists. But ultimately, the Spanish came out with the win in a game that featured 11 lead changes between one of Europe’s powers in Spain and the German hosts, who generally haven’t had a strong men’s basketball team.
With Spain going to the Finals, that may put a roster controversy to rest about Brown specifically. Brown plays for Maccabi Tel Aviv in Israel and had no Spanish ties previously, whether as a player during his professional career or by ancestry, yet the government decided to give him citizenship anyway.
It’s rare for Spain and other western European countries (which are wealthier) to fast-track citizenship. It does happen from time to time though. The Netherlands gave Máxima Zorreguieta Dutch citizenship by royal decree in 2001 so her fiancé, Prince (now King) Willem-Alexander could remain first in line for the throne. And in 2018, French President Emmanuel Macron helped fast-track the citizenship for Mamoudou Gassama, a Malian immigrant, after saving a young boy hanging from a balcony.
Brown was previously an American citizen.
Regardless of where you stand on the controversy, Brown has filled the void Ricky Rubio left due to his ACL injury last year while playing for the Cleveland Cavaliers. And perhaps it could help the Spanish beat their northern rivals.
The last day of EuroBasket is tomorrow. Here is the schedule. Games can be seen on ESPN Plus.
- Bronze Medal Match: Germany vs. Poland at 11:15 a.m. ET
- Gold Medal Match: Spain vs. France at 2:30 p.m. ET