The big names are no longer there and only some of the secondary ones who lived the last blows of the golden generation of the selection remain. But the desire was not lackingthe commitment, the attitude, some of the virtues that have accompanied the Spanish basketball team in the last two decades and that became evident in the debut at the Eurobasket against Bulgaria, settled with a very clear victory by 114-87 and also good feelings in the Tbilisi Arena.
Lorenzo Brown, the nationalized point guard this summer, unselfishly assumed the expected leadership with his appearance in the group and finished with 17 points and 5 assists, but they also had a more than prominent role the Hernangómez brothers. Willy finished with 16 and 6 rebounds. Juancho added 13 points and 7 rebounds. Both of them must be fundamental in the consistency of the team along with Rudy Fernández, author of 14 points, who added his 239 international match, equaling Epi in the second position of the ranking, which is now led by Navarro (253).
Bulgarian is one of the minor teams in this tournamenteven if he has some recognizable name on the European scene such as Vezenkov (the best of his team with 26 points or the nationalized Dee Bost. But the victory is an injection of confidence for Scariolo’s team, current world champion, but who arrives with many doubts for a more abrupt transition than expected, with eight players making their debut in a major tournament.
For Spain, not only was the victory important, in a first phase in which he must cement his way to the round of 16 in Berlin. There were also secondary objectives and he fulfilled them all with flying colors. After a month of working with his teammates, Brown demonstrated a high level of integration, his ability to generate play and a more than acceptable level of scoring. But Juancho also took a step forward. The Madrid forward needs him, after a season without much prominence in the NBA, and also the national team, for whom the talent and versatility of the Raptors’ new forward is key.
Hit from the triple
The selection quickly entered the gamecontrary to what his predecessors were doing and thus had already opened a gap in the first quarter (28-17), which was maintained and even widened, despite the fact that Scariolo spared no rotations, making his 12 men play. Spain knew how to move the ball intelligently and waste intensity and desire. But she also had good minutes in defense and went well on the counterattack, which must be one of her weapons, and she was very successful from the triple (15 of 33, 45%), some percentages that will be difficult for her to maintain, and that brought her closer to 119 points, which is his scoring record in a Eurobasket. Against her, an excess of softness when it comes to closing the rebound, which must be corrected as the championship progresses.