Spanish Hernangomez brothers Willy and Juancho combined for 42 points and led their team to a victory against Finland to reach the semi-finals of the FIBA Eurobasket 2022.
It is the 21st time that Spain has reached the semi-finals at this event and their 11th consecutive top-four showing since 1999.
Turning Point: After a hot Spain start, Finland shared the ball and raced ahead 30-19 after 10 minutes, with Lauri Markkanen on just 2 points. The Wolfpack had increased the advantage three times to 15 points only to have Spain down 52-43 at the break. The Spanish went on a 16-3 run spanning the gap to go up 60-57 midway through the third quarter, which ended with Spain up 73-67. Finland would not go away and was down just 84-82 when Spain unleashed the 11-2 blow, including two three-pointers from inspirational captain Rudy Fernandez to lead 95-84 with under 2 minutes to play.
TCL Player of the Game: Willy Hernangomez poured in 27 points – six more than his previous personal EuroBasket best that he set in the Round of 16 versus Lithuania – while also collecting five rebounds and one block. Finland star Lauri Markkanen did all he could, but his 28 points, 11 rebounds, three assists, and two steals were just not enough for the Wolfpack.
Stats Don’t Lie: Spain had six turnovers after 10 minutes but finished the game with just nine miscues. Finland, meanwhile, committed 19 turnovers – tying for the second-most for the country in EuroBasket history (21 versus France in 1995). Spain came up with 33 points off those turnovers to 12 for Finland.
Bottom Line: All Spain does at the EuroBasket is win big games before the Semi-Finals, and the Iberians are back at the stage again with a date with either host Germany or tournament title contenders Greece. Finland will return home disappointed about losing but can be pleased with the next step the team has made. After the game, Finnish veterans Petteri Koponen and Shawn Huff announced their retirement on the court.