Spain wants to open the last lock
The Spanish team faces France in the Eurobasket final in search of its fourth European gold
MADRID, Sep. 17 (.) –
The Spanish men’s basketball team will try to put the finishing touch to its great Eurobasket 2022 with the conquest of its fourth continental title this Sunday (8:30 p.m./Telecinco) against France, the only big favorite that has managed to overcome all the obstacles and that threatens with his defensive might.
The kind of ‘fairy tale’ that the current world champion is seeing is somewhat similar to that of 2019 in China, in a Mundobasket where she did not start among the favorites, but was able to show her competitive DNA to overcome everything and end up winning his second crown.
Then, Ricky Rubio and Marc Gasol were the visible heads of Serbio Scariolo’s team, which three years later, now without its great references from its most glorious era and supported by the players from the ‘FIBA windows’, has already managed to lengthen it unexpected. Nobody expected Spain at the Mercedes-Benz Arena this Sunday, but once again they have broken the forecasts to already have their twentieth medal in a major international tournament.
Since 1999, the Spanish team has been in the medal table in ten of the last eleven editions of the Eurobasket, missing only in 2005, when it was fourth, and now it can emulate Yugoslavia, the last one capable of chaining a world title (1990) and European ( 1991). To do this, he must get rid of the last ‘ogre’ left in the competition, France, a traditional ‘enemy’ in recent years, physically powerful and always wanting to settle some pending score with Scariolo’s men.
Spain already snatched the European gold from him in 2011, but it was harder seven years ago in Lille when a huge Pau Gasol blocked his way to the final in front of his public. So, they were the favorites for that game and ended up losing in extra time and after 40 points and 11 rebounds from Sant Boi. A year later, at the Rio de Janeiro Games, she was devastated in the quarterfinals by the national team (92-65) and since then they have not seen each other again in a major tournament.
Now, Vincent Collet’s men hope to take revenge and close a good cycle in a golden way in which they have been bronze in the 2019 World Cup, defeating the United States in the quarterfinals, and silver in Tokyo 2020, falling to the Americans, to those who won again in the group stage, which ended up condemning those of Scariolo.
Winning in Berlin would give its second continental title to a team with the ability to score, but above all to defend, as evidenced by the 54 points in which it left Poland in its semifinal festival with victory by more than 40 and an always important saving of Energy.
A LOT OF PHYSICS IN THE PAINT AND DANGER ON THE OUTSIDE
France has also had to make its transition after the departure of figures such as Tony Parker and Boris Diaw, and the resignation of Nicolas Batum and Nando de Colo, but it has once again found good wickers to accompany Rudy Gobert or Evan Fournier, two of his NBA.
The first, from the Timberwolves, is key in defense and difficult to control near the rim due to his 2.15 height and wingspan. Gobert is one of the three players who is over 2.10 along with the Madrid player Vincent Poirier (2.13) and Moustapha Fall (2.18), which gives him a lot of physicality in a ‘painting’ where he seems significantly superior to the champion of the world, who will have to find solutions and who hopes that Willy Hernangómez passes another exam with flying colors.
The second, from the Knicks, is one of his external threats along with Thomas Heurtel, who is giving his best version (14 points and 7 assists per game) in a good showcase to find a team and who will have a nice duel with both a Lorenzo Brown who is being key as with a sensational Alberto Díaz in his defense already over Dennis Schroeder. Gobert, Fournier and Heurtel have proven to be important and accumulate many minutes on the track, more than 200, something that only the nationalized point guard (198) comes close to in the rival.
The madridista Guerschon Yabusele is the piece that completes the poker of main players that the current Olympic runner-up possesses who, despite her display in the semifinals, has also shown cracks and who has been on the brink of elimination on two occasions, in the round of 16 against Turkey and in the quarterfinals against Italy, but mistakes from the free throw line by Cedi Osman and Simone Fontecchio gave him one more bullet.
“It is clear that we are going to face a great team, especially physically, another dimension, but we will try to invent something to be able to compete, I am already thinking about how we continue to deceive the staff. We know that it is going to be an Everest, but being here is just day and anything can happen to a single game”, warned Scariolo, whose board and the commitment of his players hope to open the last lock in the chest.
SPAIN: Brown, Jaime Fernández, López-Arostegi, Pradilla and Willy Hernangómez –possible starting quintet–, Juancho Hernangómez, Rudy Fernández, Díaz, Brizuela, Garuba, Parra and Saiz.
FRANCE: Albicy, Tarpey, Fournier, Yabusele and Gobert –possible starting five– Heurtel, Poirier, Fall, Okubo, Luwawu-Cabarrot, M’Baye and Maledon.
–PAVILLION: Mercedes-Benz Arena.
–TIME: 8:30 p.m./Telecinco.