The basketball team, in another feat that we will remember for the almanacs of Spanish sports prodigies, straightened out a half-lost game to enter the European semifinals for the eleventh consecutive time, with the best four. Since 1997 it has not failed at that exclusive table. Things like that were only done by the USSR when we were very young. It doesn’t matter who plays, if the selection is ÑBA meat or more mundane, if they are young or veterans. There are no Spains of transition when the stamp is to compete. La Familia, with another lesson from Rudy Fernández, the only one with the five golds as a link in an unbreakable chain of successes, never fails. God save Scariolo, by the way.
Slovenia has Doncic, Greece has Antetokounmpo, Finland has Markkanen, Serbia has Jokic and Spain has Scariolo. Look at the squad of the national team, with its claw, its heart and its many limitations, its commitment to the medium term (the Paris Games) and you will understand. Remember the miracle of the 2019 World Cup, but Ricky and Marc were there to do magic. Look at the game against Finland, which led by 15 points. Hopefully microphones to know what he said during his talk of 12 minutes and 10 seconds of the break (the anger was thrown by Rudy). There is no more decisive coach in the FIBA world. So much work, so much talent, so much dedication, so much experience, so much perseverance, so much craft, and so many extraordinary things have to be rewarded. Sergio is lucky.
Perhaps it was also Willy Hernangómez’s consecration match (27 points), the afternoon in which Juancho thought that the film is made in every match, or the day in which Brizuela was resolute at the highest level, but the strength of the team goes far beyond names. In basketball five is always more than one. The honesty of the players of the selection is brutal. Before we wanted to be like Pau or Navarro. Now we want to defend ourselves like Alberto Díaz or Garuba. It is a carousel that never stops, the basketball team always seems exemplary to us.
We will see what it brings from Berlin said, Scariolo
You also have to know how to resist blows. The team could have raised the white flag in the first half. It’s hard to think, as intense as Scariolo is, that the national team players didn’t know about the Finnish danger. You don’t always stick to the plan or execute it well. The Parra-Markkanen thing didn’t go wrong, but it’s almost impossible to survive in modern basketball if you concede 52 points at halftime. It is not the Spain brand. In fact, it was the worst defense of the national team in a Eurobasket match in the 21st century. Finland is indecipherable due to the nature of their players and their aim (the best in the entire championship), but they scored 30 points in less than seven minutes of the first quarter.
Then, in the second half, Finland managed just 15 in the third quarter. In those numbers, you can win a European quarterfinal match. As it happened afterward. Lithuania questioned Brown’s nationalization. Finland also celebrated it in the first half. He found a highway at the start of Lorenzo’s defense. They always looked for him to create an advantage in the block and he did not reach the assists either. He bounced too much in attack in the first half. Then came Scariolo’s talk in the locker room. And everything changed. As much as to get everywhere in defense to start the comeback. The change was radical.
Not only from Lorenzo, who signed another great match. Attitude, defense, success in attack. 30-15. The heart of a champion never stops beating. In the last quarter, the selection was unleashed. Rudy did the rest, steals, triples, flights to lost balls… What a mirror for those who start! The most complete player in the history of Spanish basketball deserved to lead this feat. Three golds, three silvers, three bronzes, and a fourth place have been on the team since 97. We will see what it brings from Berlin. The endless party.