Spain grows against Doncic’s Slovenia at Carpena

Spain grows against Doncic’s Slovenia

Scariolo’s men accelerate their preparation for the World Cup with a great victory at the FEB Centenary Tournament in Malaga


The Spanish men’s basketball team went from less to more this Friday to overwhelm (99-79) Slovenia at the start of the Centennial Tournament of the Spanish Basketball Federation (FEB) that is held at the Martín Carpena in Malaga, a serious exercise despite being only the second game on the way to the 2023 World Cup.

Sergio Scariolo’s men took several steps forward in their set-up, in line with the level of a stellar triangle where they will face the United States on Sunday. Spain annulled Luka Doncic and showed a much greater team condition. Unlike the hosts, Slovenia, much more driven, started strong and successful but already in the second quarter lost control of the match.

The world and European champion put her batteries into defense and ended up finding a lot of success, with the outstanding performance of Santi Aldama (18 points), Willy Hernangómez (17) and Juancho (17), in addition to the good work of Juan Núñez and Alberto Diaz. The game had its pitfall, with pending accounts for the World Cup that starts in 14 days, and Spain lamented the possible accidental injury to Garuba.

Despite seeing herself down 13 against one of the candidates to snatch the title from her next month and being alone in her second preparation friendly, the world champion left a carat reaction in the first half. Scariolo’s men improved with the rotation and found solutions and a good defense to prevent the high pace of Slovenia and Doncic.

Spain tied the ex of Real Madrid short, generator almost exclusively of the rival game, and equalized the fight for the rebound in a very serious second quarter (25-14), to go to the break with a meritorious 51-41 for how they had started things. The hostess had taken time to find her place, with less filming than a rival with a lot of triple starting, taking advantage of the excess attention generated by the one from Dallas.

The NBA star, a Doncic idolized by the Carpena crowd, was the biggest culprit for that +13, but between Juan Núñez, very active in defense, plus the tour debut of Rudy Fernández and Willy Hernangómez –also debuted Álex Abrines, not Sergio Llull–, or the contribution of Juancho and Santi Aldama, the European champion was taking command of the match. Doncic’s rest was felt in a less powerful Slovenian rotation.

Spain increased its aggressiveness at the back, including Aldama as Scariolo requested after his debut against Venezuela last week. De Madrid did not change Juancho’s success, while Núñez took a step forward before Ricky Rubio resigned from the World Cup. The worst of the first half was the possible injury to Usman Garuba’s right ankle, while Doncic withdrew at times.

The Mavericks player returned to the track before the break, but very much like his team. Spain lacked a better three-point percentage, until Rudy and Juancho recovered it before going to the locker room, and he took time to carburet again at the restart. The party threatened to forget about the friendly character in the third quarter, and the piques were several. Willy was in almost all of them, with Dimec, Samar, Morgan or a very angry Bine Prepelic.

The Slovenian team was not able to become strong in defense and the local income did not change, with a good run from Abrines. With the game very uphill, Aleksander Sekulic did not force his team and put on a platter the festival of a Spain that wanted to enjoy Carpena. The local idol Alberto Díaz gave his dedication until the last play and the rain of three-pointers closed a positive test for Scariolo.


–RESULT: SPAIN, 99 – SLOVENIA, 79. (51-41, at halftime).


SPAIN: Alberto Díaz (7), Àlex Abrines (13), J. Hernangómez (17), Joel Parra (7) and Willy Hernangómez (17) –initial quintet–, Rudy (3), Jaime (3), Aldama (18), Brizuela (7), Claver (-), Garuba (-), Núñez (7).

ESLOVENIA: Luka Doncic (17), Prepelic (11), Hrovat (10), Blazic (11) and Morgan (5) –initial quintet–, Samar (4), Nikolc (2), Tobey (10), Dimec (2), Cebasek (-), Glas (-), Dragic (3), Bine Prepelic (4).

–PARTIALS: 26-27, 25-14, 22-22, 26-16.

–REFEREES: Torres, Cortés and Sánchez. Eliminated for Abrines fouls.

–PAVILION: Martín Carpena.