Malaga local and Unicaja player Alberto Díaz (left) kisses the EuroBasket 2022 trophy. / EFE

Spain beat France 88-76 to take gold at EuroBasket 2022

La Roja claimed their fourth European championship in which Malaga local Alberto Díaz played an important role

ÁNGEL RESA

The Spanish national basketball team won the 2022 EuroBasket tournament as they defeated France 88-76 in the final on Sunday night in Berlin. It was a fourth title for La Roja from the last six attempts and whose success was also down the involvement of Malaga local Alberto Díaz.

Spain's title-winning run was one of the most unexpected, especially after such a dominating performance in the final against their French counterparts. The runners-up, who were a much better side on paper, were ripped apart by Sergio Scariolo's men.

La Roja proved that playing in unison and as a team worked better than relying on the individual qualities of each player, as France had done throughout the tournament, which had been held in the Czech Republic, Georgia, Italy and Germany.

The Spanish didn't just show that they were better team players. They put on a brilliant display of high-quality basketball, which was electrifying from the sound of the initial buzzer.

Spain went into the break with a comfortable lead (47-26) following two well-executed quarters. They were able to hold off the valiant, high-line French attacks by squeezing their opponents at every opportune moment.

Local hero

The fourth EuroBasket title for Spain was also achieved, in great part, by Malaga local and Unicaja player Alberto Díaz. The point guard put his skills to impeccable use throughout the whole tournament and also stood out in the final.

Díaz was constantly snapping at the French heels and defended his heart out, while simultaneously being one of the driving forces behind the team's morale.

The 28 year is at the peak of his career, and the fact he was even in the squad was unexpected, given that he was initially left out. But he was brought back into the fold after the injury of Sergio Llull, greatly aiding Spain to their fourth EuroBasket title.