The U-18 team had a hard time getting off the ground, a lotsince it took him more than five minutes to score the first basket and at the end of the opening quarter he was trailing 14-5; but when he did, in the second quarter, he grabbed a zone defense who threatened to be 3-2 and changed to 2-3 with Aday Mara approaching the hoop, went into orbit. The onslaught of that second quarter changed the course of the semifinal, although France had not yet said its last word. Areathere were more variants, and speed changed the scenery. A 7-point charge from Langarita at the beginning of the period and another with 8 goals from Conrad Martíneztwo gamers, they put the +7 at halftime (24-31) after a partial score of 10-26 in those ten minutes (2 to 38 in valuation). Mara rebounded and provided vision of the game, up to three assists in the first half.
Spain will fight this Sunday, at 8:30 p.m., with the winner of Serbia-Germany, for its sixth gold in the category, an Under-18 Eurobasket that began to be played in 1964 and until 1990, after 13 accumulated editions, did not know a winner other than the Soviet Union (8) or Yugoslavia (5). Italy broke the duopoly and then France, Lithuania, Croatia triumphed and Spain in 1998, with the gold juniors a year before the World Cup in Lisbon. And he repeated in 2004 with Sergio Rodríguez as MVPLlull, Carlos Suárez, Antelo… And in 2011 with the MVP AbrinesJaime Fernández, Dani Díez, Jorge Sanz… And in 2019 with Aldama, the best in the tournament, and Garuba. And after two years of hiatus due to the pandemic, last summer with Izan Almansa from MVP and with Sediq Garuba and Jordi Rodríguez, also champions of the U-19 World Cup four weeks ago in Hungary.
It will be gold or silver, the medal is insured and will be the fifth in six championships for Spanish teams this summer. Mind blowing after last year’s 9 of 9.
Aday Mara and Hugo González They reached the semifinal as the two great leaders of the team, and both were very important (9+13+3 passes to the center and 13+5 to the Madrid forward, who did not look so comfortable); but if I had to point out a playerone of those who usually also make the group better, it would be Álvaro Folgueiras (2.05 m power forward) for his intensity and magnificent contribution on the entire court. Only 8 points (with 5 shots), although two very important triples, and 5 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 recoveries and the feeling that he was helping everyone. He and Lucas Langaritaclear, with his display of talent and speed, with a scoring facility only within the reach of the best: 19 points and 5 basket passes. Marvelous.
At the restart, Francewho found his most incisive pieces in power forward Tidjana Salaun and point guard Nolan Traore, He reacted and even traveled five up: 40-35. The Spanish response was formidable with a 0-12. Like the one we saw shortly after with the 49-51. Mara’s basket to the post due to pure footwork, defense, offensive rebounding from Folgueiras and assist for Langarita’s three-pointer. In the next action, Folgueiras himself pocketed the three. The final was waiting with open arms, the third in a row in a junior Eurobasket.