Within the good Spanish start in the eurobasketball it is necessary to highlight the role of the ‘four’ from Zaragoza Jaime Pradilla. Despite not being part of the starting lineup, he has more than fulfilled the minutes that Scariolo has given him; in fact, he was the team’s top scorer at halftime. In Spain’s clear victory over Bulgaria at the Tbilisi Arena in the Georgian capital, Pradilla stood out for his effectiveness facing the rival hoop, in addition to contributing intangibles such as defensive cohesion and discipline when it comes to transitions.
The young Aragonese pivot (21 years old, 2.05 tall, Valencia Basket player) perfectly embodied the concept of seizing the opportunity. By the middle of the third quarter he had scored eight points in just six minutes of play, with 100% in free throws (4 of 4) and 66% in shots, from two, moving freely in the area and clearly imposing himself on the tall men of Bulgaria. At the end of the game, his figures were equally remarkable: 10 points, 6 of 6 free throws, 2 of 3 two-pointers, no three-pointers, 5 rebounds (3 offensive), 2 ball recoveries and 2 assists in 15 minutes of play, for a rating of 19 points, the third best of the national team after Willy Hernangómez and Lorenzo Brown. Also, he committed two personal fouls, but received three.
Pradilla had a great season with his team last year, consolidating in the template; he came from Basket Saragossa in the summer of 2020, after two campaigns in the squad of his city team (in the second he was already on loan at Valencia), and from the beginning he showed his potential with Levante, although it was in the 21-22 campaign when he received more confidence from the coaching staff. In his first Valencian year he went to 28 league games, with just 8.1 minutes per game, but the second has already risen to 37 games and 18.3 minutes on average, with an impressive 63.5% shooting from two and a great defense. Valencia fell in the semifinals against Madrid in the League and reached the quarterfinals of the Eurocup.
Well rated by Scariolo
This summer, the Italian coach of the national team gave early clues that he trusted his talent, and he was able to save successive cuts without problems, with outstanding performances in several preparation matches, to finally integrate the staff of 12 who aspires to fight for medals in a very complicated championship. Spain arrives with an inexperienced team, based on the experience of Rudy Fernández and the young (although shot in the NBA) Hernangómez brothers, with the France of Gobert and the Slovenia of Luka Doncić as big favorites for gold.