Spain wasted a victory over Canada (80-85) in the fourth friendly match out of five in preparation for the World Cup and added another defeat after losing to the United States. The team has performed at its best in previous games, and against Canada they left nothing inside either in one of their last chances to get fit before the World Cups in Indonesia, the Philippines and Japan, which start August 25 through September. 10.
Canada led in the first quarter, gaining nine points, but Scarillo’s early substitutions woke Spain up. Sergio Jol appeared after not participating in any of the previous friendlies. The Real Madrid player appeared with a hat-trick at the right moment to give his side a massive boost. And Garuba, playing again after retiring with an injury against Slovenia, excelled on the counterattack to keep the Canadiens from drifting wide. (21-27)
Spain improved on defense in the second quarter to contain Canada. A three-pointer by Rudy Fernádez at first and another by Víctor Claver put the team ahead for the first time in the game. Canada narrowly scored in the first five minutes of the quarter, with just one free throw. But Gilgios Alexander, who added 22 points, brought the game back to par with a shot from outside the perimeter. Juancho, who had been shy until then, was seen with four points that brought the game to rest as Spain advanced. (44-40)
The team slowed down in the third quarter, although Canada, also not very successful, was not able to recover (56-50). Equality was maintained in the last period, without any of the teams being able to move away from the scoreboard and it ended in a tie (73-73). Canada picked up the pace in overtime and although Spain tried, they couldn’t recover, adding another defeat on their way to the World Cup.
If it was Santi Aldama and Hernangómez who kept the team against Slovenia and the United States, on this occasion the leadership was distributed more evenly. Juancho, with 12 points, was again the top scorer of the team in which all players except Alberto Diaz scored. Garuba also distinguished himself, with 10 points and 7 rebounds, in his return. Juan Núñez again led the team from the starting five in which he had already secured a place. The 19-year-old proved to be the perfect substitute, replacing the injured Lorenzo Brown and Ricky Rubio. In Canada, Gilgos-Alexander was the best, followed by RJ Barrett (18th) and Oleynik (13th).
There is only one friendly preparation left for Spain to continue progressing ahead of the World Cup. The match against the Dominican Republic will be tomorrow at 9:30 pm, a week before the first match kicks off in Jakarta against Ivory Coast. Scariello did not exclude three names from the shortlist, until the 12 selected to defend the title they won in China in 2019.