A selfish France, the champion of turnovers at Eurobasket 2022 was the last victim of Sergio Scariolo. At the beginning of the competition, almost nobody would have been given a chance to Spain to reach even the semifinals. Greece and Serbia, then Slovenia, France, Lithuania, Germany, Croatia and so on were the big favourites for the podium. If you mentioned Spain, people thought that you are probably a blind crazy fan of La Roja. Nobody trusted Spain, really nobody and I could understand that.
Against Lithuania, Spain was down the whole game, but in the last minutes, they made a fabulous turnaround. The same thing happened once again in the semifinals when Germany was close to winning leading in the last quarter by 77-70. And then in the finals, Spain was dominating France.
What is the simple explanation for this gold medal? Spain had no Giannis, no Jokic, no Doncic, and no so many NBA and Euroleague stars like other national teams. And in spite of their modest roster, they have succeded. I mean if you look at the starting lineup, with Jaime Pradilla (only 21 years old), Xavi Lopez-Arostegui and Jaime Fernandez in, you won’t believe that this is the Eurobasket champion team. But the real thing was the collective effort of the Spanish squad, they played very organised and unselfish, finding the right player at the right time. This was without a doubt the work of the great coach Sergio Scariolo, which Garbajosa called yesterday the “best national team coach in the world”.
From defense to offence, Spain made clever moves, having a perfect lecture of the time and the circumstances of every play. Some players sacrificed more in defense and that’s why the offense worked so good. If you look again at the final, France actually had no chance at all in front of that perfect collective game practised for 40 minutes by Spain.
Image credit: FIBA Eurobasket
The article was written by Gratian Cormos, a Romanian journalist, book writer, life coach and mentor currently living in Barcelona, Spain.
If you are interested in collaborating with his website brainbasketball.net, in order to publish articles, interviews or other features related to basketball, contact Gratian Cormos by Whatsapp or Telegram at this Spanish number: +34 612414486.