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Spain will be at the Tokyo Olympics and it is not trivial. «There are very important teams that still have to win it. It is a source of pride, ” Sergio Scariolo admitted as soon as he heard the good news, also to avoid a Pre-Olympic that would have been a nightmare, back in June. Only the US and Australia have been present since Sydney 2000, like Spain, which monopolized two unforgettable silvers and the bronze of courage in Rio in the last stops of the route.
Because the appointment next summer will be special, with a goodbye taste for the top of Pau Gasol , who knows if even professional basketball. The selection was achieved on their own merits, along with France as their European companion after the bombing against the US and Australia's victory over the Czech Republic, which leaves the Aussies as rivals this Friday in Beijing for a place in the grand final of the Sunday.
The selection will be seen with a "very hard" opponent. And with very recent pending accounts. In Rio, on a heart attack night, Claver swiped the bronze three summers ago practically on the last play. Before a group also undefeated so far in the World Cup, which warned of its power defeating the US in preparation, and that on Wednesday he had just 25 minutes of equality against the Czech Republic. With a devil at the controls: Patty Mills shattered the Czechs with six triples. He is the top scorer of a team - and the tournament counting the teams with something at stake, 22.2 average points - with towers like Andrew Bogut , Aaron Baynes and Jock Landale , with total players like Joe Ingles and off-road soldiers like Dellavedova , with shooters like Goulding ... A collective that is known by heart and who did not even make a dent in the resignation of his vedette .
When Ben Simmons announced that he would focus on his team after signing the expansion contract with the Sixers, he did not sit too well. Less so if he threatened to get in the car of several friendly preparation matches, both against the US included. To such an extent that Andrej Lemanis , the coach, had to come out in his defense. «Ben is the target of the attacks because he now has this superstar status. It's already happened with Bogut. They want to represent their country and they want to play. There is a lot of pressure and they have to manage their careers and make important decisions. We support them 100%. Ben Simmons is doing what is best for him at this time in his career ». Everyone had Tokyo 2020 in mind.
"They exceed us in size, in size, physical dimension"
"They exceed us in size, in size, in the physical dimension of the players, especially in weight and physical strength of the greats," said Scariolo about Australia, who for the first time in its history will fight for the medals. And he continued: "With many NBAs, an experienced coach ... But we have the peace of mind that gives us the qualification for the Games." And with the spike that makes a gold shine there in the background, as real as tangible. Because if it seemed like chimera, with ogres along the way, Serbia and the US disappeared from the stage.
Perhaps the oceanic emerged as a third option, but there they are already paired with Spain, also with any of the other two semifinalists. Earthly equipment that allows to dream. "We are going to empty because we are facing a unique opportunity," confessed Marc Gasol , who, like the rest of the team, enjoyed the only free day of the entire tournament in Shanghai, before leaving this Thursday for Beijing with his suitcase full of dreams "Who would tell us a month and a half ago that we were going to be in the semifinals?"
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- Basketball World Cup 2019
- Spanish Basketball Team
- Sergio Scariolo
- Marc Gasol
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