After the first friendly against Venezuela (87-57), and with great solvency, the Spanish basketball team is now in Malaga. The national team landed this Monday on the Costa del Sol to prepare from now on one of the great events of the preseason and even in the history of the FEB: the Centennial Tournament that will face Sergio Scariolo’s men against the United States -without their best players- and Slovenia in an incomparable triangular match held at the José María Martín Carpena Sports Palace.
An event that the team is already working on Training Center Higuerón of The Embassy by Berni Rodríguez and José Manuel Calderón. With Alberto Díaz, but with the definitive absence of Ricky Rubio, Spain gets ready during these days to continue taking steps forward in their preparation. Obviously, everyone wants to beat the NBA -more humane- and Luka Doncic’s team, but we must not forget that these are two friendlies to get ready for the World Cup.
After their debut at the WiZink Center, all the spotlights have fallen on Santi Aldama. The canary dazzled with 16 points in 16.43 minutes. The truth is that he has not been a player, much less a media player at the national level. His career to the United States has been out of any focus and it has not been until his explosion in the Memphis Grizzlies, being a relevant player, when his name has begun to gain importance on social networks.
However, if there was a clear name that left the first friendly it was that of Juancho Hernangomez. With players like his brother Willy, Rudy, Llull or Abrines ruled out for the first match, the new Panathinaikos player assumed the role of star with 27 points (5/5 in triple), just as he left it in the previous European Championship after getting the MVP of the final against France.
Alberto, prophet in his land
Now, if there is a name for which the local public wants to leave their voices again, it is that of Alberto Díaz. The man from Malaga will return home this Friday after a dream season with Unicaja. Nothing has been the same since that ascent to the skies that was the gold of the Eurobasket not only at the national level, but also in each reception at the Martín Carpena.
What’s more, there are many gallons with which he will wear the national team jersey from now on. The absence of Ricky Rubio has left him as the only pure point guard in the squad. Llull, Abalde, Jaime Fernández… there are many players who can lead this facet of game director, but none has played it with his team in the last year. One option would be to play Juan Núñez to debut in a tournament with the absolute to accompany the compositor, but it will be the great responsibility that the malagueña will have to take on in the international event.
However, before there comes a luxury tournament. Spain, the United States and Slovenia. The best team in the world, according to the FIBA ranking and their last two titles in the 2019 World Cup and the 2022 European Championship, against the recent champion of the Olympic Games -in their most human version- and the team of the always heavenly Luka Doncic. An unprecedented tournament with the city of Malaga absolutely overturned.