The coach has drastically reduced the number of survivors in the national team, although he will wait for Usman Garuba
The Spanish team won their first victory during the preparation tour for the next EuroBasket. The Sergio Scariolo-led side delighted Madrid’s Palacio de los Deportes by beating Greece 87-80 in a game where Giannis Antetokounmpo was out of the field due to a technical decision.
Without the NBA superstar and with considerable 3-point shooting, Spain improved their performance greatly after the first leg defeat in Athens. Scariolo knew how to make decisions and saw how the Hernangómez brothers led the charge, well advised by captains Rudy and Llull.
Spain won and won and also reduced its squad from 18 to 16 players. The Federation has taken the decision to release guard Alberto Abalde -who was at the Olympics last year- due to an injury that has plagued him for months and prevented him from giving his best with Real Madrid.
The Galician left with Santi Yusta from a call in which there is only as survivors the following names: Darío Brizuela (Unicaja Basketball), Lorenzo Brown (Unics Kazan), Quino Colom (AEK), Jaime Fernández (Unicaja Basketball), Rudy Fernández (Real Madrid), Usman Garuba (Houston Rockets), Fran Guerra (Lenovo Tenerife), Juancho Hernangómez (Utah Jazz), Willy Hernangómez (New Orleans Pelicans), Sergio Llull (Real Madrid), Xabi López-Arostegui (Valencia Basket), Juan Núñez (Real Madrid), Joel Parra (Joventut), Jaime Pradilla (Valencia Basket), Sebas Saiz (Alvark Tokyo) and Yankuba Sima (Reyer Venezia).
Garuba and Nunez
Predicting the 12 who will reach the first match of EuroBasket in Georgia is a complex mission to say the least. Scariolo made an exception for Usman Garuba, who was injured in the NBA summer league and who will still have to wait several more weeks. The versatile interior is a key element in the Spain scheme.
So things, the most represented team to date is a Real Madrid which includes Rudy, Llull and the very young Juan Núñez. We’ll see if the 18-year-old is able to withstand the cut, although it’s also true that the team doesn’t exactly have a lot of bases. It would not be the first case of a beginner at such a young age. Ricky Rubio started wearing the jersey at the age of 17 and is currently a legend.
Remember it’s the first time Spain haven’t had any of the Gasol brothers for an international tournament since 2000. It touches on a generational change gently, but without pause so as not to let national basketball be a reference in Europe. A medal at EuroBasket would be a colossal achievement.
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