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Eurobasket: redemption time for the National Team

Eurobasket: redemption time for the National Team

Two years ago, in 2021, the National Team lived a black summer. He failed miserably in his Eurobasket, the one in Valencia and the one for COVID-19, with an unimaginable seventh place. He also at the Tokyo Olympics, with the quarterfinals and France as an impassable border. Two setbacks that left Spain without a ticket to the World Cup last fall after participating in three consecutively. Two romps that left the national team without getting on the podium after linking seven medals. An unexpected fall of the elite, similar to that of ten years ago, in Katowice (Poland) in 2011. And, as on that occasion, they opted for a clean slate.

Windows opened. The Lucas Mondelo era was ended by the sports results and the accusations by Marta Xargay and Anna Cruz about their methods to make way for the Miguel Méndez era. The challenge of the Galician, exciting, to recover the greatness of a National Team that has 10 medals in Europe (9 in the last 11), the second continental power in the historical record (not counting the extinct USSR and Czechoslovakia); and the second of all time if we talk about gold: four, three of them in the five previous tournaments. The Soviets reached a total of unreachable 21 first positions.

“We go with our feet on the ground. Last summer (2021) was very hard: we were below what we used to, ”says the coach of a team that closed its preparation with a 5-1 record: the only defeat against Hungary, in the last friendly. It was Mendez’s first setback since taking over after 15 straight wins.. And the one that FIBA ​​places as a favorite for gold in the forecasts. The 56-year-old from Vigo not only has his sights set on the fight for the medals, but also on the Pre-Olympic: the five best teams outside of France qualify for the tournament that gives 11 tickets to Paris 2024.

Spain will begin its double mission this Thursday in Tel Aviv (Israel) against Latvia (20:00 Spanish time, Tdp) and with the inner game problem: the absence of Astou Ndour leaves the zone of the Selection touched. Rachel Carrera, Paula Ginzo, Lola Pendande and Laura Gil will have to cover that gigantic hole. The resurgence in recent weeks of Alba Torrens and the defensive toughness of Queralt Casas and Cristina Ouviña, among others, are also key for Spain’s steps to be firm in the Holy Land.

After the Baltics Montenegro arrives on Friday (7:45 p.m.). On Sunday, close the group stage against Greece (7:45 p.m.). If they finish first in the group, they will go directly to the quarterfinals. If she finishes fourth, out. Finishing second or third, will lead to some eighth on Monday the 19th for a place in the qualifying rounds for the title, which are played entirely in Ljubljana (Slovenia). The game starts. It is the hour of redemption.

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