Spain’s EuroBasket title defense got off to a roaring start on Friday as the winners of three of the last four European Championships walked all over Montenegro on their way to a 99-60 victory.
The Spanish side, behind an 18-point nine-rebound effort from Willy Hernangomez, built a 22-point lead at the break and cruised to the win. Pau Gasol and his brother Marc combined for 19 points and 13 rebounds and Fernando San Emeterio came off the bench to score ten points on 4-6 shooting. Ricky Rubio also had a solid outing, scoring seven points to go with five assists and a game-high five steals.
The Nuggets’ Juancho Hernangomez, who’s playing in his first European Championships with Spain’s senior team, scored 13 points as he came off the bench for 16 quality minutes. His brother Willy was the best player on the floor for either side as he battled Orlando Magic center Nikola Vucevic, who finished with 16 points, throughout.
Hernangomez shot 3-6 from the field (1-4 from two-point range and 2-2 from three) and 5-7 from the free-throw line and also grabbed five rebounds. The 21-year-old registered three blocks and was a +/- 15 overall.
Oklahoma City Thunder guard Alex Abrines started for Spain and played 15 minutes but exited in the third quarter with an apparent leg injury and did not return.
Next up for Spain is a matchup with Washington Wizards’ guard Tomas Satoransky and the Czech Republic, who they face on a back-to-back Saturday in Romania.