“Basketball is very simple. 10 men go after a ball for 40 minutes and in the end, Spain always wins”. With these words, Spain’s dominance in continental and world basketball is described in the official account of the Eurobasket. Scariolo’s team has completed the latest feat, the most complicated of all, winning the gold medal in the European tournament after beating France in the final in Berlin (88-76). The 28th metal of Spanish basketball, the 15th of the men’s team, since in 1999 he won European silver and started the best national streak of all time.
With the conquest of this Eurobasket, the Federation showcases accumulate 34 absolute trophies achieved by the men’s and women’s teams. But of them, 28, 82% of the national record, has been achieved in the 21st century in which it has become the great dominator of European basketball, and the great rival of the almighty United States for the world throne. In the case of the men, 15 of their 20 medals have come from the year 2000 (75%), but it is more noticeable in the women’s team, which has added 13 of their 14 medals (92.8%) in this century.
This hegemony has screwed Spain to the top of the FIBA ranking, sometimes even surpassing the United States. “Spain is the toughest opponent we’ve ever faced,” said Kobe Bryant after winning the London 2012 Olympic final. Currently, the men’s and women’s teams sit second in the standings behind the American teams.
The ‘Scariolo era’
This reign has been consolidated by various protagonists both on the bench and on the pitch. But there is one of them that stands out above the rest: Sergio Scariolo. The Brescia coach is from this Sunday the most successful coach in the history of Spain, adding eight medals, one more than Lucas Mondelo, the controversial coach who doubled the list of winners of the women’s team (his are 7 of the 14 metals).
Scariolo has won it all with very different teams over the years. Some of the best players in the history of national basketball have passed through his hands, whom he took to their highest level. This time, he has gathered a group inexperienced in major competitions and has managed to instill the champion DNA.
Rudy, one step away from Laia
The gold in Berlin elevates the entire team but especially the captain, Rudy Fernandez, who adds his 11th medal to tie with Pau Gasol in the Olympus of national basketball. The Real Madrid forward still lacks a medal to hunt down Laia Palau, the most successful player in the history of Spain, but there is no player who has as many gold medals as the Mallorcan: six. Her character and dedication are an inspiration not only to her peers, but also to future generations.
Spain has rounded off a great summer in the Eurobasket in which it has managed to reach the final in all the FIBA tournaments that have been played. The winning gene ranges from veterans like Rudy (37 years old) to young promises like Juan Nunez (18), Izan Almansa (17) or Iyana Martin (16), for whom the future is wide open. The dynasty of Spain has an assured future.
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Source: EL PAIS