23 years later, with the always fresh memory of the golden juniors, Spain returned to play a final in a youth world championship. The U-17 World Cup was back at the epicenter of the sporting day thanks to another magnificent generation that has grown up fearlessly and was looking to topple the United States in the final in Malaga. A major mission that he could not complete after falling 67-79, but that also returns the illusion to the national basket and that allows him to dream of a happy future with which to extend these two decades of continuous joy that began with that Lisbon gold .
In the five previous editions of this Under-17 World Cup nobody had managed to beat the United States. 43 victories and no defeats for the Americans, who had not been disturbed in Malaga either. Until last night, the Martín Carpena had been a friendly setting for them, capable of overwhelming their rivals and reaching the final with six wins and an average difference of 44 points. None of that scared the Spanish dressing room, confident in their chances. A group that has grown without complexes thanks to the fact that that victory in Lisbon commissioned many subsequent joys. Confidence that experienced an unexpected boost with the visit of several of those gold juniors after the victory in the semifinals on Saturday.
Pau Gasol, Navarro, Kings and Heads They wanted to be with them on this historic weekend along with other national basketball legends such as Llull, Calderón, Carlos Jiménez or Garbajosa himself, head of the Federation and proud host of the event. The collective hug after beating France ended up convincing the kids, who came out very plugged into the final. So much so that at the end of the first quarter they were already leading by seven points, which stretched a little more shortly after the start of the second (25-17, min. 12).
Spain had managed to wipe away the American physique and imposed its talent sheltered by Carpena. The selection flew, whose momentary superiority was made clear with a stratospheric mate by Hugo González. He suffered the United States as he had not done in the entire championship and saw how his fear gripped his wrist. The triples of the Americans did not enter and the team walked happily towards the break, which they arrived with an income of five points that was a treasure (38-33).
The team raised its intensity Lamar White and that began to complicate life for the team. The high pressure from the Americans was a nightmare for Spain, whose blackout at the end of the third quarter began to decant the final. A 20-3 run turned the score around and made the match very difficult for the locals (51-62, min. 30).
Even so, the team tried, rising to the success of Hugo González (16 points) and the extravagance of Aday Mara, perfect in defense and very successful in the last quarter. The pivot added nine of his final 16 points at the start of the decisive period, insufficient against what was already an American roller. A hammer that brought down the national resistance, but that does not tarnish a wonderful tournament that serves to excite again as those gold juniors did. Silver generation that will have a new opportunity to be crowned in a few years and to take a deserved revenge.