Jaime Fernández crushes Italy and brings the World Cup closer to Spain
Those from Scariolo remain the group leader in the extra time of a game with many potholes
MADRID, 11 Nov. (EUROPA PRESS) -
The Spanish men's basketball team beat Italy's team away from home this Friday (84-88), faithful to their defensive work but thanks to Jaime Fernández who monopolized the success (28 points), even in the extra time that decided the match for bring the ticket closer to the 2023 World Cup.
Sergio Scariolo's men returned to action at the Vitrifrigo Arena in Pesaro after becoming European champions two months ago with a serious offensive jam that was accentuated at the decisive moment. The last quarter brought the Italian team and their fans into the fight, in a direct duel for the leadership of Group L.
Jaime Fernández avoided Italian joy and gave Spain a sixth victory, by only one loss, in the penultimate FIBA 'window'. The victory (85-88) of Georgia (11 points) over Iceland (11) this Friday tightens the fight for the three tickets to the World Cup, but Spain leads with 13 points, for the 12 Italians.
The player signed this season by Lenovo Tenerife was key with his triples and his offensive decision, in a tremendous one-on-one with Nico Mannion (20 points). Italy believed in the bell against the continental champion but the Madrid player prevented it with jugs of cold water on the rival pavilion. Scariolo's team complicated the game with little success and 17 losses.
The defense and the choral game was not enough especially in the last quarter, with a 13-3 after six minutes. Spain looked to defeat in a clash that dominated from the start from the rebound and the run (9-19). The first quarter already ended crooked with those losses and Italy matched the intensity, while the Spaniards went into the break with a 1 of 10 in triples.
The superiority in rebounding (27-45) was not taken advantage of by the European champion with baskets and the game continued to get complicated after the break. At least they evened out, with little fluency in Scariolo's, with Parra providing solutions and Alberto Díaz keeping the defense at a good level (41-48).
The attack did not accompany and Mannion began to wake up. With him, the public also played his part at the beginning of the last quarter (59-57). The transalpine team was overexcited at times but the tremendous Spanish traffic jam made it easy for them. Ricci, Vitali and Spissu scored the impossible and Jaime Fernández avoided defeat.
Parra had the last one to win without extra time and, in extra time, the man from Madrid once again took the responsibility of winning the game on his back. Mannion kept up with him at times, but there was only room for one in the headline. Spain will close this 'window' on Monday at the Carolina Marín Pavilion in Huelva, against the Netherlands, getting closer to defending the World Cup and with two more games in February to finish the qualifying phase.
--RESULT: ITALY, 84 - SPAIN, 88. (33-36, at halftime).
ITALY: Spissu (12), Petrucelli (7), Vitali (8), Ricci (5) and Tessitori (8) --initial quintet--, Baldasso (4), Severini (8), Pajola (2), Biligha ( 10), Mannion (20).
SPAIN: Brizuela (5), Díaz (8), Salvó (8), Parra (12) and Sáiz (9) --starting quintet--, Guerrero (1), Barreiro (-), Yusta (9), Sima ( 6), Bassas (2), Núñez (-), Jaime Fernández (28).
--REFEREES: Rosso, Baki and Praksch. Eliminated due to fouls Ricci and Sáiz.
--PAVEL: Vitrifigo Sand.