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Scariolo hopes Spain close in on Eurobasket medal contenders

Scariolo hopes Spain close in on Eurobasket medal contenders

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08/15/2022 at 17:14

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“Everyone says that we are far from the fight for medals and we have to work to get closer to it”, he assured in Gran Canaria

“Spain must compete as always, show their face and the image of a cohesive team, which fights, which plays basketball well, with pride, tenacity, intensity and concentration,” the coach said.

Spanish basketball coach Sergio Scariolo said this Monday in Gran Canaria, on the eve of this week’s first friendly match against Lithuania, his desire for the national team to reduce the distance that prevents him from being a candidate medal at the next Eurobasket 2022.

“Everyone says we are far from the fight for medals and that we have to work to get closerand then see where the competition puts us,” assured the Spanish coach.

Scariolo added that ‘arrogance or bravado’ are not good ‘allies’ in the face of competitionn, “especially if it takes us away from reality”, they must therefore avoid “a naive overvaluation, which has no reason to exist”, such as hanging the sign of the favorites beforehand.

“Compete as usual”

In his opinion, Spain must “compete as always, show their face and the image of a united team, which fights, which plays basketball well, with pride, tenacity, intensity and concentration”, and the definition of “favorites” should be ignored by both coaches and players “when the motivations are different, and the gaze and concentration are on other goals”.

Scariolo explained that they continue to “progress” in eThe national team’s ‘renovation and growth work’ in which many of its players have had to adapt ‘to a different roleto be complementary to more protagonists”.

The Spanish coach appreciates the “demanding” rivals they have in this period of preparation, like Greece, already with two matches played – defeat in Athens and victory in Madrid -, or from this Tuesday Lithuania, “another team that everyone considers the favorite for the medal”, which they will also face next Thursday in Vilnius, the Lithuanian capital.

Lithuania, a very physical rival

Scariolo acknowledges that Lithuania are a “much stronger physically” rival, which they will try to make “as little as possible” noticeable. To do this, they must “take a step forward, make the impact hardness high, get their big men as far away from the paint as possible and compete with a low number of errors”.

Italian coach admits rival has ‘very high physical-athletic rhythm’, plays ‘excellent basketball’ and have very good players ‘in all positions’, while Spain’s strengths are ‘enthusiasm, energy and a desire to improve’.

Asked about striker Usman Garuba’s physical condition, Scariolo believes he still has ‘a long way’ to be available, as he is behind his teammates“not so much because of the ankle recovery, but because of the fitness after being stopped for so long”, yehe is a player who needs “to be in good physical shape to play and contribute“.

And regarding Juan Núñez and his signing for German side Ratiopharm Ulm, after terminating his contract with Real Madrid, the Spanish coach knew his fate “for a long time” “and I always saw him calm, the kid handled it well”, and considers that for the young base it is an “unbeatable” opportunity to have minutes “in a competitive and demanding team“.

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