Spain starts the summer strong against North Macedonia
Those of Scariolo, with a great defense and an outstanding Sebas Saiz, continue their full path to the World Cup
MADRID, July 1 (.) –
The Spanish men’s basketball team beat North Macedonia (80-44) this Friday at the start of an intense summer to close first the initial qualifying phase for the 2023 World Cup, four out of four in victories.
Sergio Scariolo’s men returned to action at the Príncipe Felipe Pavilion in Zaragoza with a recognizable team despite not having players from the NBA, Real Madrid or Barça. The boys from the FIBA ’windows’ once again showed commitment and quality to continue without any trouble bringing Spain closer to the next World Cup.
The current champion will finish the first phase against Georgia, on Monday 4 and Ukraine, on Thursday 7, knowing that they are already safe in the second phase but with points at stake to advance, since it is these three teams that will overcome Group G. The bottom player Macedonia surrendered in Zaragoza from the second quarter (26-6) in a choral performance by the locals, without needing points from a Lopez-Arostegui who had been the best in this classification.
Sebas Saiz, a regular but in this case back on the list, was the leader with 19 points and 9 rebounds in less than 19 minutes. Scariolo distributed minutes and Spain ate his rival with an enviable wardrobe. The defensive intensity marked the performance of the world champion, she dominated the rebound and gave rhythm to her attack.
A couple of triples by Santi Yusta opened the gap midway through the second quarter that would only add weight (33-21). Yankuba Sima, who was the best in the first leg in his debut match, gave Saiz a good relief, and the rebound followed the same bleeding as the score (26-8).
At the break, with Pradilla and Jaime Fernández also leaving good feelings, the transition of Scariolo’s men was lethal, with a shared leading role although Sebas Saiz seemed to have a special motivation, with a third quarter that was also round. Spain went 30 on the scoreboard, with Brizuela and Bassas contributing (62-31).
In Dragan Bajic’s, the ballot was complicated, with something from the young Barça center Simic at the start, Krstevski or a Jakimovski who ended up being the most valued of his team. Spain, which after two ‘windows’ and friendly duels will go for the Eurobasket in September, did not relax in the load of the rebound and in an intensity that makes it fearsome whoever plays.
–RESULT: SPAIN, 80 – NORTH MACEDONIA, 44. (45-23, at halftime).
SPAIN: Alberto Díaz (1), López-Aróstegui (-), Parra (3), Pradilla (8), Saiz (19) –initial quintet–, Sima (10), Barreiro (11), Bassas (7), Jaime Fernández (7), Brizuela (7), Salvo (1), Yusta (6).
NORTH MACEDONIA: Stojanovski (3), Nikolov (7), Jakimovski (14), Gjuroski (2), Krstevski (7) –starting five–, Mekic (3), Robev (2), Maslinko (-), Tashovski (-), Simic (6), Stefanov (-).
–PARTIALS: 19-17, 26-6, 17-8 and 18-13.
–REFEREES: Lucis (LET), Zapolski (POL) and Deman (FRA). Fouled out Krstevski.
–PAVILLION: Prince Felipe.