The energy of Spain knocks down the anarchy of Turkey


Alberto Díaz's control of the rebound and defense give the team first place in the group and they will meet Lithuania in the round of 16, about to secure the pass

Spain won by one point, 68-69, with 22 seconds remaining. Possession for Turkey until Alberto Díaz put one of his kleptomaniac hands and the ball went out by the bottom line. Larkin was the last to touch and would later culminate his bad game by missing the free kick with which he left the victory on a platter and the first position in the group for Scariolo's team, which is heading to Berlin and on Saturday in the round of 16 will face Lithuania, which is currently comfortably prevailing over Bosnia.

The team still maintains its competitive character and cold-blooded shot to win a momentous duel despite another very low attendance at the Tbilisi Arena. With less talent than Turkey, but much more united, and a second quintet almost as relevant as the first, the victory is explained after an imprecise and erratic start. Spain's wardrobe had to appear to take control on the scoreboard and, despite some disconnections to be corrected, react to each stab of the Turks, much more inspired by the shot.

Statistically, Willy Hernangómez (15 points and 7 rebounds) and Lorenzo Brown (11 points and 7 assists) shone, a connection that could get even more revenue. But just as decisive were Sebas Saíz's minutes in the second quarter, increasing the defensive intensity and making each rival attack uncomfortable, the magnitude of Garuba, the reliability of Xabi López-Arostegui (9 points), the resources of a Pradilla who in each game adds one more argument to qualify him as the heir to Felipe Reyes, and the defensive activity of Alberto Díaz. When the match was getting more complicated, with a 9-2 run (59-58) at the start of the fourth quarter, the point guard from Malaga took the fifth foul from an Alperen Sengun who seemed unstoppable, and changed the sign of the match.

With the Rockets center eliminated, Spain once again dominated the rebound (37-45) with great ease thanks to the greater energy displayed since the second quarter. At the break, 'La Roja' had 9 sacks in attack and 12 second-chance points. Also better team play, with 4 more assists than a Turkey determined to play one against one or two against two and offer little more in attack. If the Spaniards had fine-tuned their shooting and shooting percentages (5 of 25 in triples), the victory could have been more comfortable.

Cedi Osman, with 20 points, and Korkmaz, with 16, threw themselves behind the set of an overwhelmed Ataman. Larkin, his trusted player, off during the entire duel (only 3 points), is not offering him even close the performance of Efes, where together with Micic they rule the Euroleague with an iron fist. The coach revealed after the game that the base has an injury to his shooting hand and will travel to Istanbul to have an MRI.

Alberto Díaz knew how to contain him perfectly and Lorenzo Brown won the duel in the final minutes of a duel in which Brizuela was expelled for two techniques and Rudy Fernández was absent due to discomfort in his right knee. His appearance in the round of 16 will be key for a Spain that with its first position has managed to pave the way to the medals. Lithuania is a lesser evil in the group of death, in the quarterfinals they will avoid those who are considered the big favorites for gold.

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