Spain reaches the final against Bahamas with difficulties and doubts; Greece-Croatia and Brazil-Latvia, other finals

Spain reaches the final against Bahamas with difficulties and doubts; Greece-Croatia and Brazil-Latvia, other finals
Spain reaches the final against Bahamas with difficulties and doubts; Greece-Croatia and Brazil-Latvia, other finals
Photo: feb.es

The team achieved the minimum objective expected in this Pre-Olympic tournament in Valencia, which was to reach the final given the weakness of their rivals. Another thing is that they did it with suffering, doubts, poor play at times and very little contribution from half of the selected players, if not more. They beat Finland by 81-74 and with this image it is hard to think that Scariolo’s team will not suffer even more against the Bahamas, which qualified after an 89-72 against Lebanon.

Spain never felt comfortable (20-15, m.10). Aware of this, the fans began to push. Finland smelled the excess of responsibility of their rival as soon as they appeared and Scariolo was forced to do what he had said two days ago that he did not want: a rotation of three bases. Spain was not in the mood for flourishes but to quickly reconvert itself into a solid team and Alberto Díaz was there for that. His defense and that of Jaime Pradilla on Mikael Jantunen gave confidence to the group and Brizuela scored the points with his penetrations (20-24, m. 15).

Finland went five minutes without scoring and although the ‘lockdown’ was opened with the return to the bench of Díaz and Pradilla, Lorenzo Brown supported Spain with his inspiration in the exchange of baskets with which the game advanced and with eleven points in the last six minutes of the quarter he managed to reach the break with an unexpected advantage (30-38, m.20).

The break suited the Nordic team better. Three-pointers from Edon Maxhuni, Jantunen and Jacob Grandison tightened the score and changed the mood. Spain opened up Santi Aldama to make room for Willy and the two inside players fed the Spanish team’s scoreboard, but the furious appearance of the second Finnish unit, with Andre Gustavson and the young Miikka Muurinen, adjusted everything again.

With the team once again stuck, Scariolo once again turned to Díaz and Pradilla. Zone defense and a triple from Miro Little put Spain on the ropes (59-56, m.30). The ball was starting to burn and then Alberto Díaz appeared again with two consecutive triples and a trademark steal that Dario Brizuela converted into a basket to light up the Fonteta.

With Spain beating again, a furious exchange of baskets began in which the Finnish triples tested their rival’s nerves. With two minutes left, the game was tied at 72. Willy scored, sending his opponent flying under the hoop, the hoop spat out a Jantunen triple from the corner and in the next one the Spanish pivot added two points from the line and passed all the pressure to Finland, who felt the blow and did not get up again, giving free rein to the Fonteta party with Hernangómez as MVP and Díaz as hero.

By quarters 1 2 3 4
SPAIN 17 21 18 25
FINLAND 20 10 29 15

Elsewhere, the finals are also set. Brazil and Latvia face off in Riga after beating the Philippines and Cameroon, respectively. A disappointing Slovenia fell victim to a good Greece, who beat Doncic’s men by a landslide (96-68). Their rival is Croatia, who suffered against the Dominican Republic (80-77). In Puerto Rico, Lithuania awaits an opponent after winning their semi-final by 88-64.

GlobalSun

 
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