Thursday, October 28

And of punishment, the United States


Special Envoy to Tokyo

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It was not a good Sunday for the team in Tokyo, beaten twice at the Saitama Super Arena. He yielded first to Doncic’s Slovenia, in the meeting that closed the first phase, and that defeat condemned him to a cruel quarter-final draw, in which the United States appeared as the most likely rival. This time the mathematics did not fail and the innocent hand confirmed the duel for Spain, which will face the Dream Team for a place in the semifinals this morning (6.40 hours) with hardly any rest.

In the absence of energy, the team ended up melted yesterday, Scariolo will have to pull motivation to prepare a very tough clash. The second in less than 48 hours. Spain has never beaten the United States in a great tournament and that is where the forces can come. A challenge worthy of the legend of this team. “We have been close to beating them many times, especially in finals, so we just have to take one more step and we have a new opportunity to achieve it. Why not take the last leap?

The words of Jorge Garbajosa, recently landed in Tokyo, sought to lift the spirits of a downcast wardrobe. The defeat against Slovenia had stung in a match that Spain came to dominate by twelve points midway through the third quarter and ended up losing due to its failure in the final moments. Slovenia did not need Doncic to remove the superhero capeIt was enough for him with the complicity of his teammates to remain undefeated with the shirt of his country. 16 of 16 and going up.

The point guard stopped being a problem for Spain with the final honk, as Scariolo and his team have enough to worry about the panorama that opened up ahead of them with the draw. The new Olympic format devised by FIBA ​​hid a twisted system that could turn a good first phase into a problem. This has been the case for the national team, to which a tight finish from which they did not emerge victorious has punished them with excessive harshness.

Garbajosa’s face, present in the bowels of the pavilion where the draw was held, was a poem. He then tried to dispel with his words what was a capital disappointment, because he plays a miracle to maintain the streak of three consecutive Olympic appointments on the podium.

You have to beat the United States, the limit so far for this historic team that has won two World Cups, but has never been able to smile in front of the Dream Team. It was close to him in London 2012, perhaps the only day that the Americans feared losing their Olympic hegemony. “Tuesday is a big day and the players are going to be ready. They are a quarterfinal of a Games, Against a supermotivating opponent and the adrenaline will be stronger than the fatigue. We are going to face it with all the ambition and all the desire in the world, knowing that the rival is very complicated, but the challenge deserves a gigantic effort and I am convinced that the players of this team are going to do it “, said the manager, who he knows well what he is talking about, because he himself tried that machado in the 2008 Olympic final.

Then, Spain fell in front of their limits, but this time they have a vulnerable team in front of them. He was, at least, until the start of the tournament, when he yielded for the first time in the Games since the NBA can play them. That defeat to France now paves the way for the national team, which will have one less day off, but wants to make history in Tokyo.

Also the women’s team, which after completing its full of victories in the first phase awaits a rival for the quarterfinals today. It will be easier for them, who already dream of medals after having exhibited a very high level in all their matches.

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