Spain-Canada: to conquer the world!

Important games are not played, they are won. Those victories are what differentiate a special group from a normal one. And this Under-19, of course, is not ordinary at all. It is a special team, with exceptional quality and maturity that have allowed them to superbly navigate any wave that will be presented to them during this World Cup in Madrid. The last, terrible, strong and annoying, was Canada, which did not give up (77-70) until the second final of the semifinals. Spain lived a roller coaster of emotions in the last period until it managed to qualify for the third final of the continental tournament in its history, supported by a WiZink Center that supported its players during the 40 minutes and danced with them after the match ended. His rival, this Sunday, the United States (9:00 p.m.). The great ogre, as on the two previous occasions, stands between them and the first ever gold medal for the National Team.

The Selection felt heaven and hell in the last ten minutes of the match. At the dawn of that period, with the eighth point followed by Deva Bermejo (two lateral triples), the U-19s reached the maximum of the duel: +13 (60-47). But from there, everything was suffering. It seemed all resolved, but no. Sweat in the face of the resistance of a Canada that launched itself bare-chested. To a necessary all or nothing that seemed possible with two triples followed by Gibb. With only five minutes to play, uncertainty took over a Palacio that watched impassively as the elegant Fournier (20 points) and Prosper (11) placed the 69-68.

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Just two minutes. All the work of the summer in a scarf in 120 seconds that were crazy. Nobody was right. They were all wrong… until Iyana Martín appearedan Asturian base of just 17 years old who rubs shoulders with his elders like a fish in water. With a courage that led her to reach 24 points and hole 7 shots out of 10 attempted from the staff in just half a minute to certify the ticket for the grand finale this Sunday.

But she was not the only heroine. There was more. Awa Fam had the best game of this World Cup. The first part was his and he closed with 17 points and 8 rebounds for a PIR of 18. Carla Brito was lightning at the beginning of the game and Alicia Flórez when she returned from the locker room. All of them guided by Elena Buenavidawho took an essential foul in moments of fear. And, of course, Bermejo. The point guard, with less focus than Iyana, is a key piece for Canut and his wrist this Saturday was exceptional: a 3 of 6 from the triple that opened the doors to what It will be the 12th medal out of 13 possible for Spanish basketball in all categories since the summer of 2022. And the fourth in a World Cup for the Under-19. She already has two silvers and one bronze. She touches the gold. And after so much suffering, there is no other remedy.

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