The story of the Spanish basketball players at the European Championship has, without exaggeration, Hollywood contours. Their representation is going through a generational change and was definitely not among the favorites. Still, she pulled off three big turns in the tournament’s playoffs, and in the final against France, real-life movie hero Juancho Hernangómez, known as Bo Cruz on Netflix, shot her gold.
The Spanish players completely controlled Sunday’s EuroBasket final match for most of the playing time. In the end, they defeated the French 88:76 and returned to the European throne after seven years. 27 points were contributed by Juancho Hernangómez, a great fan favorite.
The 26-year-old native of the suburbs of Madrid was often addressed as Bo Cruz even during the tournament. That’s the name of the character he played in this year’s successful film Hustle (Life Shot in Czech).
Star LeBron James also participated in the production of the film from the studio of the American streaming service Netflix and with a budget of 21 million dollars, and Hustle also received positive reactions among professional basketball players.
The character played by Hernangómez will go through the classic “from hero to zero” path to the NBA in the film. However, the film is evaluated very positively thanks to the realistic scenery of the overseas competition or the events surrounding its draft.
“Juancho took on the role wonderfully, despite the fact that he had no acting experience. Even though there are moments where you can see that he is mainly a basketball player,” commented the Czech supporter Tomáš Satoranský.
Hernangómez initially refused to participate in the film, but in the covid quarantine he decided to go for it. “It was my sister who made me go to the audition,” commented the basketball player, who also plays with his brother Willy in the national team.
“I was excited about the film, it goes behind the scenes of the entire NBA carousel. Juanch’s teammate from Minnesota, Anthony Edwards, is playing great there, he could easily start making a living from it,” Satoranský continued to evaluate.
In fact, Hernangómez has been in the NBA since 2016 and currently plays for Toronto. So far, however, he was not one of the famous stars of the competition, his film role made his mark in the minds of fans.
After the successful European final against France, actor Sandler, his agent and guardian from the film Hustle, also congratulated him on Twitter. “Bo Cruz! You did it. I love you Juancho and Willie! Congratulations to the whole Spanish team too,” he wrote.
And the Spaniards seem to stick to the traditional movie plot even at the tournament. Although they are the reigning world champions from 2019 and have won a medal at the European Championships continuously since 2007, they were not considered favorites this year.
Brothers Pau and Marc Gasol ended up in the national team, due to injury, the mainstays Sergio Llull and Ricky Rubio were missing. The team under coach Sergio Scariolo is undergoing a generational change.
However, they only lost to Belgium in the European Championship group. Otherwise, the Spaniards defeated the Bulgarians, Georgians, Montenegrins and Turks and went from first place to the round of 16. Then they dealt with major complications in three elimination matches.
They first lost to Lithuania in the third quarter by eleven points, but turned the game around and advanced after winning 102:94 in overtime. In the quarter-finals, they even lost to the Finns by fifteen points. They won 100-90.
Even the semi-finals did not develop smoothly, the home Germans built a ten-point lead against Spain. However, Hernangómez et al. in the end they won again 96:91.
The battle for gold was already in their hands. Also because Hernangómez turned into a cinematic Cruz and gave the French one three-pointer after another.
“Before the tournament, we were tipped for eighth place, but we gradually went up. We left behind incredible teams, including the last one, which was full of top-level players,” gushed coach Scariola with a gold medal around his neck.
For the seventh time in a row, the Spaniards did not leave EuroBasket empty-handed.