Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2009
KATOWICE, Poland (AP) Pau Gasol had 18 points and 11 rebounds to lead world champion Spain to a 85-63 win over Serbia in the final of the European basketball championship Sunday.
The victory gave Spain its first European title after six runnerup finishes, including a one-point loss two years ago to Russia in front of its home crowd.
The Spaniards dominated from the start at both ends of the court, playing pressure man-to-man defense and getting out on the break for easy baskets to take a 15-point first quarter lead. Serbia never recovered.
Gasol, a star with the NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers, scored down low and blocked three shots on his way to winning the tournament MVP honors.
"It was a great game, and obviously we won the final that we lost twice before this year, so I'm extremely happy and it's an unforgettable day for us," Gasol said. "We just worked so hard to win this championship and I'm just super proud of my teammates."