The Family stays at 12. The national basketball coach, Sergio Scariolo, announced this Tuesday the final list of players who will play the Eurobasket that begins this Thursday the 1st and runs until September 18. Juan Núñez and Fran Guerra have been the last discards of the coach, so the renewed Spanish team is as follows:
Bases and escorts: Lorenzo Brown, Alberto Diaz, Darío Brizuela and Jaime Fernández.
eaves: Rudy Fernández, Xabier López-Arostegui and Joel Parra.
Power forwards and centers: Jaime Pradilla, Sebas Saiz, Usman Garuba, Juancho Hernangómez and Willy Hernangómez.
Spain attends the Eurobasket in the midst of a generational revolution. Seven of the 12 players have never played in a major summer event (European, World Cup or Olympic Games) with the national team: Lorenzo Brown, Alberto Díaz, Jaime Fernández, Darío Brizuela, Sebas Saiz, Jaime Pradilla and Joel Parra. Only five know what it is to fight for a medal in the top international competition for national teams: Rudy Fernández, Willy and Juancho Hernangómez, López-Arostegui and Usman Garuba. At the head of La Familia, Rudy collects a record that surpasses that of the rest of his teammates combined: 15 major tournaments in his backpack (six Europeans, four World Cups and five Games) and 10 medals, and 238 caps (he debuted with the absolute in 2004, the year in which Juan Núñez was born). The next in the number of meetings with the red shirt is a world away. Willy has 75 appearances for Spain (he has been to two European Championships, two Games and a World Cup), compared to Juancho’s 43 (one European Championship and one World Cup), while the others called up for this Eurobasket are already below 40. In fact, the rest of the team except Rudy has accumulated 288 caps compared to 238 for the Madrid player alone. López-Arostegui and Garuba compete with the experience of the past Games behind them. It is the Spain of the pacifier.
The withdrawal of Pau Gasol, the resignations of Marc and Sergio Rodríguez, and the injuries of Ricky Rubio, Carlos Alocén and Sergi Llull have forced Scariolo to put together a puzzle, especially delicate in the point guard position. The controversial nationalization of Lorenzo Brown came to partially solve “a big problem”, according to the coach, which rcaught Alberto Díaz at the last minute due to Llull’s withdrawal.
Spain has won three of the last five editions of the Eurobasket (2009, 2011 and 2015). Now he faces the most difficult yet in a tournament in which Jokic (Serbia), Antetokounmpo (Greece) and Doncic (Slovenia) appear as three giants difficult to overcome. The team will play the first phase in Tbilisi (Georgia), drawn in a group with Bulgaria (their first rival, on Thursday), Georgia, Belgium, Montenegro and Turkey. Four of those six teams will go through to the round of 16, the start of a second phase that takes place in Berlin.