Spain recovers from the slap in the face of Montenegro

Those of Scariolo qualify for the round of 16 from defense and success on the perimeter


The Spanish basketball team has beaten Montenegro 65-82 and has qualified for the round of 16 of the Eurobasket, after adding its third victory on the fourth day of the first phase of Group A of the championship, led by the score (18 points) of Darío Brizuela, the defensive improvement and the muscle of Willy Hernangómez.

After the unexpected defeat against Belgium, Spain improved the image against the Montenegrin team with a game based on defensive intensity, dominance in rebounding and accuracy on the perimeter.

Spain responded to Belgium’s ‘slap in the face’. After the high expectations fueled by the offensive festival against Bulgaria and the hosts Georgia, Sergio Scariolo recognized that the defeat against the Belgians was “necessary” to stop the euphoria of a group that changed its attitude on Tuesday from the initial jump.

Driven by the scoring by Jaime Pradilla, the defense and the offensive rebound, Spain was already another and opened a 12-point bloodletting (13-25) that was the prologue to the festival of triples by Juancho Hernangómez and Darío Brizuela, with three, which they lengthened the distance (22-42) for a team without a brake.

Nationalized Kendrick Dennard Perry led a 7-0 (29-42) run that gave hope to Montenegro, where there was hardly any news of one of its ‘franchise’ players, Vladimir Mihailovic. It was a mirage before the exaggerated dominance in the rebound and the success in the outside shot of Spain, which sentenced the game (31-53) at halftime.

The defensive and offensive feast continued at the beginning of the third quarter (35-62), although the relaxation, the rotation of Scariolo in the team and the awakening of Mihailovic allowed Bosko Radovic’s men to prevail in the penultimate period (17-14 ), although the result (48-67) was not in danger for a relaxed Spain.

The script was repeated in the fourth period. Spain took a nap and relaxed after the initial defensive wear. It was the only blur of a group that recovered the path of victory and, above all, the sensations after the Belgian slap that they can fight again to revalidate their European title.

This Wednesday (13:30, Spanish peninsular time) Scariolo’s pupils will seek to certify the leadership of the group against Turkey, who beat Belgium on Tuesday, in the last match of the first phase. Spain could also be second or third depending on the rest of the results.


–RESULT: MONTENEGRO, 65 – SPAIN, 82 (31-53, at halftime).


MONTENEGRO: Perry (10), Popovic (4), Radoncic (8), Simonovic (11), Dubljevic (3) — starting five — Ilic (2), Nikolic (-), Drobnjak (-), Mihailovic (18 ) and Radovic (9).

SPAIN: Brown (12), Jaime Fernández (9), López-Arostegui (5), Pradilla (12) Willy Hernangómez (14) –starting five–, Brizuela (18), Díaz (2), Rudy Fernández (- ), Juancho Hernangómez (6), Garuba (2), Parra (-) and Sebas Saiz (2).

–PARTIALS: 17-27, 14-26, 17-14 and 17-15.

–REFEREES: Oskars Lucis (Let), Gatis Salins (Let) and Sergii Zashchuk (Ucr). Without eliminated.

–PAVILLION: Tbilisi Arena.

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