Spain has won its second straight European title, defeating France in the championship game of EuroBasket 2011 98-85 to claim the crown. Spain was led again by former Memphis Grizzlies wing Juan Carlos Navarro, who scored 27 points, 12 of them from the line and nine from beyond the three-point line. Navarro scored more than 25 in each of Spain's three knockout games: 26 against Slovenia in the quarters, 35 against F.Y.R. Macedonia in the semis and 27 against France. Navarro was named the MVP of the tournament.
Had France won, there's no question that San Antonio Spurs guard Tony Parker would have rung that bell. As he had all tournament long, Parker provided the electricity for the French tournament, in the championship game scoring 26 points and five assists. But Spain did a great job trapping Parker on pick-and-roll attempts, forcing the guard to take tough shots or pass to less refined teammates.
Joakim Noah scored 11 points and had eight rebounds for France, and Nicolas Batum added 10 and four while struggling on his outside shot (2-8). For Spain, Pau Gasol and Jose Calderon each scored 17 points, and Marc Gasol added 11 on just five field goal attempts. Serge Ibaka played 21 minutes, and contributed five blocks. Ricky Rubio got just seven minutes off of the bench, and did not score (for he did not take a shot).
Both Spain and France had moved on to the 2012 London Olympics by virtue of semifinal wins. Only four bids to the London Games remain at large.