La Spanish selection prepares already in the concentration of Zaragoza the three friendlies of the FIBA qualification window for the 2023 World Cup. With the passport quite on track, Sergio Scariolo (Brescia, 1961) has at his disposal a group of players among whom The NBA and none of Real Madrid and Barcelona are not there, who finished the League final last week. In the group, a good number of meritorious looking for a place to the European this summer (September 1 to 18).
the national coach he racks his brain to make a list as competitive as possible in which they will no longer be historical like the brothers Gasol, Sergio Rodriguez or Ricky Rubio, the former due to withdrawal and the latter due to injury. Of that and much more talk long and hard with MARCA. Supports talent descent, but has not lost the illusion and already works from dawn to dusk to build a team as competitive as possible. Scariolo in its pure state.
Question: What atmosphere has been found among the players in this reunion? Do you see a high predisposition in all of them?
Response. Yes, there is a lot of enthusiasm, a lot of joy and understanding of the spirit of the team. That compensates for an amount of talent that is obviously different from the traditional veteran teams.
P. Have you made it clear to these players in an incentive or motivation mode that some have options to go to the European Championship if they do well in these Windows?
R. They know it perfectly, there has always been clear and direct communication without selling anything that we cannot pawn and there has never been the slightest problem. Everyone is delighted to be part of the selection and what they have in hand at the moment with the Windows. The other will be seen.
At this time the position of base-shooting guard generator and also with some scoring danger has been a little lame for us
P. Does the weakness that the team has in the base position take away your sleep in the face of the European Championship?
R. The position of base-shooting guard that generates and also with some scoring danger at this time has been a little lame for us. Especially due to the need for physical demands at the body level that international basketball requires and to compete against teams that all have bases of 1.95 m, great athletes, who jump a lot and are capable of scoring and defending. We have talented players but with little body, and others who are not yet mature to assume an important responsibility and are a little lacking.
We have talented players but with little body, and others who are not yet mature to take on important responsibility.
All this aside from the injured and those who have retired. Sergi Llull remains, who can play in both positions, but at his age and the need to take advantage of smaller amounts of time, apart from everything he contributes to the team. When it comes to being on the court with clear ideas about what are the limitations and the potential to contribute.
Q. When you’re a coach, doesn’t it give you a bit of a slump to see that you won’t be able to count on players like the Gasols, Sergio Rodríguez or Ricky Rubio, in this case due to injury? Hasn’t that ‘earth swallow me’ ever crossed your mind?
A. No, no downturn. In some punctual action you see the same one of those we have does not quite manage to have that clarity in the definition, in the generation of the advantage… the same at that moment you can think: ‘this one would have done it much sooner’. But no drop. It is clear that the talent drops, there is no doubt. Players come out who have marked an era and nobody can be fooled. The feeling is that we have to roll up our sleeves a lot and try to get everything, everything, everything we can have. We all have to be aware that the scenario is different.
It is clear that the talent drops, there is no doubt. Players come out who have marked an era and you can’t fool anyone
P. The Spanish fans have been ‘badly accustomed’ to always fighting for medals in all championships for many years. Is it the coach’s job to ‘lower the soufflé’ so that they put their feet on the ground?
R. It would be almost offensive for the Spanish basketball fans, who have amply demonstrated to be understood, to think that it is necessary to explain something more. I don’t want to spend all summer explaining this. It is so obvious that even a child understands it. It’s almost starting to bother me a little to re-comment on the subject.
It would be almost offensive for the knowledgeable fans of Spanish basketball that something else needs to be explained. It is so obvious that even a child understands it
There are other pillars to rely on apart from talent and that are part of the identity of this team. We have to work hard and those of us who have been there can do everything we can to maintain this legacy and pass it on. This is what it’s all about, that all those who climb breathe it, soak up it and be able to internalize it as soon as possible.
Q. Assuming that it is impossible to replace the gold generation that is going away, how can something be compensated? With the famous DNA that you already mentioned of cohesion, altruism, generosity and individual sacrifice for the benefit of the team?
R. Yes, they are, but then we have to transfer them to the field and realize that we have to have an impeccable defensive level and that it really generates important complications for the rival, because we obviously have less protection in the paint to compensate for any errors that may occur. .
Now we have to be very honest and intelligent to work with one more point of discipline and speed in execution.
We also have to be very accurate in making decisions in attack because we have less talent to take difficult shots, those against two or off balance that we could do before. Now we have to be very honest and intelligent to work with one more point of discipline and speed in the execution to be able to generate more easy shots.
Q. How did you see the ACB final between Real Madrid and Barcelona? Did the outcome surprise you or does it show that whoever gets to the end better usually wins? I say this because that has happened several times with the national team in some championships?
R. A season is made up of many moments, and the moment of the playoffs of the national competitions that follow the end of the international competition are extremely conditioned by how a team comes out of it. I have realized with my team after winning the Eurocup. Milan did not play in the Final Four and arrived with more time to face the playoffs at the top of their form.
For Barça it was a disappointment to fall in the semifinals of the Euroleague, it left them very touched… And Madrid was one shot away from beating the Euroleague champion and that gave them mental fuel
And in the Barça-Madrid, for Barça it was a disappointment to fall in the semifinals of the Euroleague, it left them very touched. And Madrid, very forceful in the playoff against Maccabi, had a great Final Four and despite losing the final, it was a defeat that strengthened the team because it gave them confidence. They were one shot away from beating the Euroleague champion and that gave them mental fuel. And physically the players they had were very good. They are moments and dynamics.
P. And speaking of the Spanish players in that team, how did you see Llull, Rudy, Abrines and Sergi Martínez?
R. Rudy and Sergi were good doing what was asked of them. Going into important moments of the game, having that coldness to make important plays, obviously with a presence on the field that had to be limited in order to get the most out of it. But they showed that they are still perfectly capable, although in a smaller amount of time, to provide quality and mentality. I take it for granted that the two will be in the concentration of August.
Sergi [Llull] and Rudy showed that they are still perfectly capable, albeit in a smaller amount of time, to provide quality and mentality
And Álex and Sergi played less, they had a more irregular presence, but you have to know how to read in the squads and in the matches why a player can play more or less. I also hope to have them both in the concentration of August and from there we will see.
P. Are you surprised that Rudy at 37 years old continues to defend at the highest level that he does?
A. Rudy has a special competitive soul. He has had his whole life with this ability to produce moments of great defense, especially in the important moments of the games, against complicated rivals. He has been able to not lose that, because perhaps others, once the physical form goes down, he also loses that form of defense. He’s been smart and knows he has to focus on it in fewer minutes, but he hasn’t lost his ability to be a game-changer from defense, and even some 3-pointers in a greatly reduced amount of time as well.
Rudy has been smart and knows he has to focus on fewer minutes, but he hasn’t lost his ability to be a game changer from defense.
Q. Are you worried that the Hernangómez brothers, Garuba and Aldama will get a little rusty after having few minutes on their NBA teams?
A. Everyone’s season has been helpful in some way. Willy has had his moment, Juancho has even had his moment when nobody expected him at the end of the season with Utah, and Santi has had his moment in which he has played the most. Apart Usman [Garuba] that he has had injury problems… In general, they have had their moments in teams that have made it to the playoffs. And in more demanding or ambitious teams, the minutes are more expensive. They haven’t had a season to get tired, to put it ironically. They will need to get very well to…