Spain overtakes Italy and is on track to qualify for the World Cup

Data sheet

84 – Italy: Spissu (12), Petrucelli (7), Vitali (8), Ricci (5) and Tessitori (8) –starting five–, Baldasso (4), Severini (8), Pajola (2), Biligha (10) , Manion (20).

88 – Spain: Brizuela (5), Díaz (8), Salvó (8), Parra (12) and Sáiz (9) –initial quintet–, Guerrero (1), Barreiro (-), Yusta (9), Sima (6) , Bassas (2), Núñez (-), Jaime Fernández (28).

Partials: 18-22, 15-14, 16-19, 21-15, 14-18.

Referees: Rosso, Baki and Praksch. Eliminated due to fouls Ricci and Sáiz.

Spain debuted this Friday with a victory against Italy (84-88), in the town of Pesaro (north), its status as brand-new European champion in a continuous exchange of blows that was decided in extra time and that brings the classification of the Spanish team closer to the 2023 World Cup.

To the new champion of Europe and the World, however, Georgia’s victory over Iceland (85-88) hurt himalthough it could only mathematically close its presence in the World Cup event if it beats the Netherlands, last in the group, and Georgia loses to Italy on the day that takes place next Monday.

Jaime Fernández avoided Italian joy and gave Spain a sixth victory, by only one loss, in the penultimate FIBA ​​’window’. The player signed this season by Lenovo Tenerife was key with his triples and his offensive decision, in a tremendous one-on-one with Nico Mannion (20 points). Italy believed in the bell against the continental champion, but the Madrilenian prevented it with jugs of cold water on the rival pavilion. Scariolo’s team complicated the game with little success and 17 losses.

The defense and the choral game was not enough especially in the last quarter, with a 13-3 after six minutes. Spain looked to defeat in a clash that dominated from the start from the rebound and the run (9-19). The first quarter already ended crooked with those losses and Italy matched the intensity, while the Spaniards went into the break with a 1 of 10 in triples.

The game is decided in extra time

The superiority in rebounding (27-45) was not taken advantage of by the European champion with baskets and the game continued to get complicated after the break. At least they evened out, with little fluidity in Scariolo’s, with Parra providing solutions and Alberto Díaz keeping the defense at a good level (41-48).

The attack did not accompany and Mannion started to wake up. With him, the public also played its part at the beginning of the last quarter (59-57). The transalpine team was overexcited at times but the tremendous Spanish traffic jam made it easy for them. Ricci, Vitali and Spissu scored the impossible and Jaime Fernández avoided defeat. Parra had the last to win without extra time and, in extra time, the man from Madrid once again took the responsibility of winning the game on his back. Mannion kept up with him at times, but there was only room for one in the headline.

Spain will close this ‘window’ on Monday at the Carolina Marín Pavilion in Huelva, against the Netherlands, getting closer to defending the World Cup and with two more games in February to finish the qualifying phase.

Spain overtakes Italy and is on track to qualify for the World Cup