Monday, July 22, 2024

Spain in basketball group of death at Paris Olympics

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Dario Brizuela scores in the semi-final before the Olympics (Kai Forsterling, EFE)

the Spanish basketball team He managed to stamp his ticket for Paris 2024Scariolo’s team ended the pre-Olympic period on July 7 with only a record of victories. However, now the hardest thing awaits him. In the French fields you will see faces Canada2023 World Cup Bronze, Australiabronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics, and Greecealso winner of the Piraeus Olympic Qualifiers.

Basketball starts at July 27 In Paris, 12 teams will compete for the gold medal. In addition to Spain, at the Arena Bercy there will be: France, South Sudan, Australia, USA, Canada, Germany, Serbia, Puerto Rico, Brazil, Greece, Japan.

After six days of competition, Spain can say with certainty that it will compete for its fifth Olympic medal. Despite the family It’s always among the candidates, and it hasn’t been achieved yet. Hang goldCurrently, they have three. Silver Medals (1984, 2008, 2012) and one of Bronze (2016).

There are less than 20 days until the Olympic basketball competition begins, and it won’t be an easy road for Spain. Their group includes Greece, Australia and Canada, currently ranked 14th, 5th and 7th in the world respectively.

For this part, Greece It comes from walking the same path as the Spaniards. They also achieved complete victories in Piraeus. They shared the group with the Dominican Republic and Egypt, which they destroyed. In the semi-finals they met Slovenia DoncicThey finished 96-68 and bid farewell to the Olympic dream. Finally, they faced the Croatians in the final, who will not be in Paris either.

Slovenian player Luka Doncic goes to the basket during the Olympic preliminary tournament (Georgia Panagopulo, EFE)

On the other side, Canada He is indeed an old acquaintance of the Spaniards. In 2023 he left the family To exit the World Cup in the second group stage. Moreover, in the absence of official publication of the invitation, everything indicates that it will include ten players from the NBA.

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finally, Australiawhich will also be loaded with MLS players, in this case eight. Australian They will be looking to return to the podium after winning the gold medal in Tokyo.

The Spanish occupy 2nd place in FIFA rankingjust below the United States. However, the preparatory matches for the Olympics were not an easy task. The competition was divided into four places: Valencia (Spain), Riga (Latvia), Piraeus (Greece) and San Juan (Puerto Rico).

Each site had two groups of three teams. In the Spanish group, played in Valencia, there were Lebanon And AngolaOn the other hand, the Bahamas, Finland and Poland played in Group 2. Of the three teams, only two qualified for the semi-finals, where the best from Group 1 will meet the second from Group 2 and vice versa.

The first meeting was with LebanonWhich they won by a large score (104-59). However, the worst was yet to come. On Wednesday, July 3, they were on the verge of losing the match against AngolaWhich put them on the ropes until the last quarter. However, Scariolo’s team managed to cut the score to 89-81 and achieve their goal: to top the group.

Santiago Aldama tries to score against the Angolan midfielder (Bill Alino, EFE)

In the semi-finals they met Finland That didn’t make things easy for them either. Spain could have been eliminated from the pre-Olympic final after trailing by three points at the end of the third quarter. But Alberto Diaz And Willy Hernandez They put the game behind them and regained the momentum that Scariolo’s team had lost. After being tied at 72 with two minutes to go, the Spaniards once again showed their level of team. They finally left 74-81 and half a foot in the French capital.

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And the last challenge was Bahamaswhich, despite being a country of barely 400,000 inhabitants, spread panic in Valencia. Especially for the three NBA players who wore the jersey: DeAndre Ayton, Eric Gordon, Buddy Hield. Indeed, Spain struggled until the end. However, two key blocks from Ousmane Garuba, three three-pointers from Lorenzo Brown and several errors by the Bahamas left the game at 86-78. This would be the sixth and final time in a row that Spain would win. Rudy Fernandez Participate in the Olympic Games.

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