MANNHEIM (Albert Schweitzer Tournament) - Josep Perez, Guillermo Hernangomez and Albert Homs linked themselves in history with Pau Gasol, Jose Calderon and Berni Rodriguez as Spain beat Serbia 76-65 to win the 2012 Albert Schweitzer Tournament.
It was Spain’s second title at the prestigious biennial U18 world event following 1998, when Gasol, Calderon, Rodriguez, Raul Lopez and Carlos Cabezas won the title.
Now Perez, Hernangomez and Homs have something in common with their senior team idols.
“It’s amazing,” said Spanish center Juan Sebastian Saiz, who averaged 10.1 points and 7.0 rebounds for the winners.
“We have only won once here and the players who won that year were guys like Gasol and Calderon. So it was very important for us."
Juan Orengao, who is temporarily in charge of Spain's U18 team until he returns to assist Sergio Scariolo with the senior side, admitted the players were well aware that all eyes were on them.
“They knew that the senior team guys were watching them because they all played in this tournament too,” he said.
Center Hernangomez led Spain in scoring for the tournament with 13.6 points as well as 8.7 rebounds, while Perez had 10.6 points, 2.6 assists and 1.4 steals and both were named to the All-Tournament Team.
Perez had 11 points in the final while Hernangomez added 10.
Homs, who averaged 9.6 points, scored a team-high 18 points in the final while Ilimane Diop - who is expected to be one of the stars at this summer's FIBA U17 World Championship in Lithuania - chipped in eight points, nine rebounds and two blocks.
Nikola Radisevic scored 19 points in a losing cause for Serbia, while Dusan Ristic had 17 points and 11 rebounds and Luka Andusic added 13 points.
Radisevic was named the tournament's MVP with averages of 16.4 points, 3.7 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.0 steals. Fellow Serb Mihajlo Andric was also named to the best five with 9.0 points and 5.1 rebounds.
German forward Paul Zipser rounded out the tournament five having poured in 14.6 points, 5.0 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 2.0 blocks.
The Burkhard Wildermuth Award for the most talented player of the tournament was given to 17-year-old Turkish guard Cedi Osman.
The leading scorer in the tournament was USA guard Stevie Clark with 19.8 points. French center Mouhammadou Jaiteh led all players in rebounding with 9.7 boards and Matteo Imbro of Italy handed out the most assists (6.7).
Sixteen-year-old Chinese center Zhou Qi, who is also expected to star at the U17 Worlds in Kaunas, was the top shot blocker with 4.2 rejections per game. He also had the highest efficiency rating at 22.4.
Meanwhile, Turkey knocked off hosts Germany 90-85 in the third-place game. Tayfun Erulku went for 24 points while Burak Can Yildizli had 17 points and James Metecan Birsen added 13 points.
Zipser struggled with just six points before fouling out. Gavin Schilling and Dominic Lockhart each tallied 15 points for Germany, who had seen their U18 and U17 teams take gold and silver at the 2010 Albert Schweitzer Tournament.