The current European champion establishes itself as group leader after emerging victorious from a fast-paced exchange of blows
With 28 points scored, Jaime Fernández was the outstanding figure of the team in the final stretch
Spain opened this Friday with a victory against Italy (84-88), in the town of Pésaro (north), her status as brand new European champion in a continuous exchange of blows that was decided in extra time and that puts the classification of the Spanish team to the 2023 World Cup within reach.
World Cup Qualification
(18+15+16+21+14): Petrucelli (7), Ricci (5), Spissu (12), Tessitori (8) and Vitali (8) -starting five-, Baldasso (4), Biligha (10) , Mannion (20), Pajola (2) and Severini (8).
(22+14+19+15+18): Brizuela (5), Díaz (8), Parra (12), Saiz (9) and Salvo (8) -starting five-, Barreiro (-), Bassas (2) , Fernández (28), Guerrero (1), Núñez (-), Sima (6) and Yusta (9).
Yohan Rosso (France), Kerem Baki (Turkey), Peter Praksch (Hungary)
Match corresponding to the second phase of the qualifying window for the 2023 World Cup, played at the Vitrifrigo Arena in Pésaro (Italy).
To the brand new European and World champion, however, He was hurt by Georgia’s victory over Iceland (85-88)so they could only mathematically close their presence in the World Cup if they beat the Netherlands, last in the group and still without a win, and Georgia loses to Italy on the day that takes place next Monday.
With a new choral, team victory, Eurobasket style and under the leadership of Jaime Fernández (28 points) that was measured with a very successful Mannion (20) in a particular duel to tip the balance, Spain is now placed first in the group alone with thirteen points, one more than Italy and two more than Georgia.
The 21 valuation points of the man from Madrid were matched by an immense Alberto Díaz behindin line with the past Eurobasket, who finished the game with 8 points, 4 rebounds, seven assists and five stolen balls, becoming yet another day a nightmare for their rivals.
The selection of Sergio Scariolo started well, who already warned that when he plays with Spain he stops being Italianand put himself ten points ahead of maximum that at the end of the first stake, after a good reaction ‘Azzurra’, were four (18-22, min 10).
At the beginning of the second quarter, Spain was almost insurmountable in defenseclosing gaps on the inside to prevent comfortable transit through the area, once again in solidarity with each other, and taking over the majority of the defensive rebound, key to victory.
But the stands of the Vitrifrigo Arena in Pesaro woke up and with it the Italian playerswho reacted when they found themselves down by eight points and, with five minutes to go, managed to turn the score around.
Spain remained ahead despite the fact that Italy prevailed in that quarter (15-14), in what was a rush that gave life to the Italians, who saw themselves with possibilities against a recently proclaimed continental champion team that exhibited great defense in the first quarter but did not know how to take advantage of its good moments to stand out in the bright
The Spanish defense continued to be Scariolo’s best ally, to those who did not accompany in that phase a percentage of success in shots of two and in triples to help deal what would have been a final blow in the game.
That lack of success was what continued to give life to Giamarco Pazzeco’s teamwho went behind in the third quarter (49-55), the first real exchange of blows in which the dominance of the teams alternated, but which left signs that it could complicate the match, especially with the game of a Mannion, 21, who surprised on the Italian parquet.
The tension increased in the last quarter. Scariolo scolded his team after a penetration by Mannion, a clear sign that the coach did not see the end of a game that went to extra time that Joel Parra could have avoided if he had hit a half-hook shot from near the ring.
In extra time, with emotions running high, with all the players giving their all to get the game going, Jaime Fernández appeared again to respond to the Italian attackscounter the damage caused by Mannion and lead his team to a fundamental victory that is worth half a ticket to the 2023 World Cup.
Spain beats Italy in extra time and puts qualifying on track