The Spanish coach Sergio Scariolo sees “very poor” comparing the team that will play Eurobasket 2022 with the one that represented Spain in other international competitions, focusing efforts on achieving qualification for the final phase because “each game will be a tough stumbling block”, although he admitted that it can be good for them not to have that “great pressure”.
“We have to sweat the competition. We have a general situation in which it would be stupid to focus on the result and the comparison with where we were before, that would be very poor. Then each game will be a tough stumbling block, starting with the first one,” said the coach. at the press conference prior to the match against Bulgaria.
Sergio Scariolo comments that what happened in “other championships” should be avoided when “not consciously or because of problems, the focus was later on the need to be one hundred percent in shape.” “This is a younger team, we can have a little more freshness, a little more energy and we can dose it,” he added.
The Italian puts the focus on the fact that from the first moment it is necessary that he also accompany “the result itself”. “The difficulty of being able to overcome the first turn is so consistent that we cannot make too advanced approaches, what we have to focus on is the way to compete, to prepare ourselves and go down to the court being ourselves,” he assured.
Spain arrives with “a completely different team, with different goals and different pressure” at the Eurobasket, which Scariolo considers “is better”. “Other times we had great pressure from day one that is difficult to manage, now we have the pressure that we ourselves put on our shoulders,” he said.
“Seven players out of 12 have never played a big competition, we know it can be tricky, but we are not afraid and we hope there will be a lot of hunger among our youngsters, a lot of motivation and that they use this big stage to show that they can compete, take a step forward and show that they can play at the level of this competition, something they haven’t done so far,” Scariolo said.
In addition, the Italian is clear that the “identity” of the team is maintained because it is something that they work “a lot” “from the lower categories”. “So there is a lot of work behind it, since this group of players demonstrated how to compete at the highest level in the world, we took their example and instilled it in everyone,” he commented.
“Fortunately, we have players who can make the transition from the past to the present, but the past is a hole, something completely different. We want to grow our players in the same style, not only in values but also in their basketball. Obviously, we are not going to ask anyone to learn how to pass like Ricky Rubio, but the idea of looking for the open man and the way this team has played is always there,” he said.
The coach’s job is for the team to try to “maximize the skills and minimize the weaknesses” of the squad. “Every year you can have strengths in a different place and we have to prepare ourselves to meet some top and great players, especially elite shooters. We have to be prepared and I think we will be,” he stressed.
The first rival in Spain’s path will be Bulgaria, a team that Scariolo is concerned about. “They have Dee Bost and Sasha Vezenkov, but surely the Bulgarian coach knows better than me what is behind them, from the outside we can see that they are a great team in the ‘pick and roll’, that they find spaces very well and that they force teams to do a lot of assists, which gives freedom to these two men to try to do damage,” he explained.
Whatever happens at the Eurobasket, Scariolo doesn’t think it will be decisive. “This does not end here, we are not in an operation to get maximum and unique performance in a championship, we are in a process of generational change, which on the one hand wants to see us playing well in each championship, but on the other hand we want to get players to see who can compete, ultimately to be able to do well in the Olympic Games, which is the obvious goal in this cycle”, he concluded.
Source: Europa Press