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The Spain players celebrate their win. Kai Forsterling / EFE
Spain's basketball team seals ticket to Paris Olympics
Basketball

Spain's basketball team seals ticket to Paris Olympics

Victory over the star-studded Bahamas team in Valencia secured qualification for the summer Games

José Manuel Andrés

Valencia

Monday, 8 July 2024, 07:43

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Spain's basketball team has secured a spot in the Paris Olympics following a spirited 86-78 victory over the Bahamas in the Pre-Olympic final in Valencia on Sunday.

Despite lacking the star power of previous generations, Spain showcased team spirit under coach Sergio Scariolo, outmatching the Bahamas' NBA-laden squad through tactical superiority and bench depth.

Spain's more consistent performance compared to their previous game against Finland, plus a more balanced contribution from across the roster, allowed them to outshine the stars of the Bahamas team, such as Buddy Hield, Eric Gordon and Deandre Ayton.

A team effort

This time, Spain didn't solely rely on the scoring of Santi Aldama and Willy Hernangómez. Instead, contributions from Lorenzo Brown, Usman Garuba, Darío Brizuela, Jaime Pradilla and veterans Sergio Llull and Rudy Fernández proved crucial.

By half time, Spain held an eight-point lead (42-34) thanks in no small part to Brown's three consecutive triples and Garuba's defensive intensity.

The experience in the ranks then helped to contain any attempt at a comeback and maintained their lead by capitalising on free throws. Despite late-game pressure from the Bahamas' three-pointers, Spain secured the win, fittingly sealed by Rudy Fernández's final free throws in his last game on Spanish soil.

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