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    SportsEurobasket 2022 examines the competitive health of Spain

    Eurobasket 2022 examines the competitive health of Spain

    Slovenia celebrate their 2017 European Champion title – FIBA

    Germany, Italy, the Czech Republic and Georgia will be the four venues for Eurobasket 2022 that starts this Thursday with favoritism marked towards five teams, among which, for the first time in many years, there is not a fully renewed Spain and practically without its great referents of its most golden age.

    The 24 best national teams, with the notable absence of Russia due to its invasion of Ukraine, will meet in a championship that is competitive and without a clear favorite, although everything indicates that Serbia, Greece, Slovenia, France and Lithuania are those who have the most options to try to take the throne that the Slovenians have occupied for five years.

    And Spanish basketball attends this European in search of being as competitive as possible, but marked by the definitive goodbye last summer of Pau and Marc Gasol, two of its great references who put an end to their international journey as Juan Carlos did before Navarro, Felipe Reyes or Jose Manuel Calderon, and shortly after also Sergio Rodriguez.

    A generation that surely led Spain to dominate European basketball in this 21st century and that has a complicated relay to return to be among the best, something that did not happen at the Tokyo Games where again a fatal carom in the quarterfinals caused the goodbye to the United States.

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    In this way, and after the break due to the pandemic, we must go back to 2019 and the last World Cup to see the last great achievement, the second world gold of a team led by Marc Gasol and Ricky Rubio, also absent, in his case of a serious knee injury.

    In China, an example of the competitive nature that the coach Sergio Scariolo has managed to infuse, who knows that the chances of going as far as possible, is to cling to that spirit of previous tournaments and have the serenity of not being one of the big favorites to try to extend the streak and add their seventh consecutive Eurobasket to the podium.

    In any case, in addition to other absences such as those of Sergio Llull, injured in the final stretch of the preparation, and Alberto Abalde, also for physical reasons, and Alex Abrines, Santi Aldama or Victor Claver, who resigned for different reasons, the draw Nor was it excessively benevolent and although the first group does not seem excessively hard, the theoretical crossover of eighths yes since the current world champion could be paired with Slovenia, France or Lithuania, which it seems that it could avoid only being first in the group .

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    To do this, the triple continental champion cannot fail in the first part of the route, which will start in Tbilisi, marked by the presence of an ambitious Turkey, which is emerging as the main rival for that first place, while the host Georgia, Montenegro , Belgium and Bulgaria, rival of the debut this Thursday, seem a step behind.

    Spain will rely on the leadership of captain Rudy Fernandez and the brothers Willy and Juancho Hernangomez, the three survivors of 2019, Scariolo’s board and the bet of the nationalized Lorenzo Brown, one of the seven debutants in a big event, but well assembled for being almost all participants of the ‘FIBA windows’.

    Usman Garuba and Xabi Lopez-Arostegui, who were at the Games, provide the rest of the ‘experience’ of a national team that knew how to compete against Greece and Lithuania in their preparation, although they could only beat the Greeks, yes, without the presence by Giannis Antetokoummpo.

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    Slovenia will be the one on the mission to defend their historic title from five years ago when they clearly defeated Spain in the semi-finals (92-72) and Serbia (93-85) in the final. Led by a Luka Doncic already established as a great star in the NBA, the Slovenians will try to reign again threatened by several high-level candidates.

    These are surely headed by the current runner-up, wanting to make up for her latest slips and who comes with a benchmark in the American league such as Nikola Jokic and the great dominator of continental basketball, Vasilije Micic, still ‘touched’ by an injury on the ankle during preparation.

    Behind them, France, current Olympic runner-up, will want to scratch again at their best level like last summer with many ‘NBA’ in their ranks, while Greece clings above all to Giannis Antetokounmpo to return to dream of something big and Lithuania, to Domantas Sabonis and Jonas Valanciunas.

    Source: Europa Press


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