The Spanish team crashed against the Turkish wall (71-67) and was the victim of the style of play that recalled the one she used when she could count on a pivot as dominant as Pau Gasol. Saving all distances and unfair comparisons, Semih Erden, flew over the match and was the executioner of the Spanish team. Imposing and dominant, he had 16 points and 14 rebounds, and prevented the Spanish team from sealing their qualification for the World Cup in China. He must wait, at least, for Sunday's game in Tenerife against Ukraine. And if not, will be demanded beyond where he wanted and expected, in the last of the happy windows that has established the FIBA, at the end of February, in Latvia, or in the second leg against Turkey.
Turkey: Balbay (12), Tuncer (11), Birsen (12), Durmaz (0), Erden (16) – initial team-; Guler (8), Gecim (10), Sanli (2) and Savas (0).
Spain: Colom (9), Jaime Fernández (5), Beirán (8), Pablo Aguilar (3), Fran Vázquez (10) – initial team-; Beirán (8), Brizuela (18), Abalde (0), Llovet (5), Arteaga (0), Sebas Saiz (7) and San Miguel (2).
Partial: 15-15, 21-19, 20-14 and 15-19.
Referees: Lanzarini (Italy), Jasevicius (Lithuania) and Maricic (Serbia).
Ankara Arena 10,400 spectators
The game was resolved with two strategic plans as opposed as the front and the back of a coin. Sarica, the Turkish coach, moved his chips around Semih Erden. The center of 2.11 meters, with a history of luxury for his time in the Celtics and Cavaliers, although slight and already distant, but also by the main clubs in his country, is at 32 years old one of the players capable of mark differences in Europe. Of course, he scored them in the game. Turkey squeezed its expertise close to the basket; Spain worked hard to contain him. With such intensity that Scariolo had to sit Pablo Aguilar just after two minutes and Fran Vazquez just start the second quarter, which took two mistakes in his strenuous work to quell the damage caused by Erden.
On the other side of the court, the Turkish defense closed on the basis of good. The selection of Scariolo was not inhibited when exploiting the vein of the triples. His balance was not good at first, but David Brizuela, with two consecutive, unclogged the artillery and tied Spain in the score after the first spurt of Turkey.
In the second quarter the season was opened from the maximum distance. The Turks lit the fire, especially Tuncer. The first breach was opened (32-26), but Beirán followed in the footsteps of Brizuela and the hand to hand was restored (34-34). At halftime, Spain had scored eight triples, but had thrown 22, a figure that reveals how much he insisted on what was his bet sometimes, his resignation other resource. And the worst thing is that in the second part he did not hit from the maximum distance and he stayed with those eight triples in a total of 31 pitches.
Balbay, Guler and Erden moved very comfortable to open again an important difference (56-48). Scariolo called his players a chapter, who applied themselves to a defense in the area that temporarily blocked the Turkish attack. Brizuela again took charge of making the Spanish attack profitable. The forward from San Sebastian was very direct and aggressive in attack. Although the Turkish defense, and especially Balbay, ended up limiting the damages that made him three triples and 18 points. The Spanish defense was on the verge of taking profit and a penetration of Jaime Fernandez put the tie to 67 on the scoreboard with 45 seconds remaining. But it was missing that Erden put the cherry, and so he did with a basket after a reverse inside the area.
Colom extended the last attack to the maximum and missed the shot when there were only five seconds left. Gecim, from the line of free throws, closed the contest and delayed the ticket of Spain for the World-wide one. It does not stop being a tremendous discomfort given the circumstances of the calendar devised by FIBA, the Euroleague and the national leagues and the absences of so many players, especially in the Spanish national team.