With 28 points, including 12 in overtime, Lorenzo Brown was the hero of Spain’s qualification for the quarter-finals of the EuroBasket (102-94 against Lithuania).
It is perhaps the weakest Spanish team of the last fifteen years. And yet, this Roja there is in the quarter-finals of the EuroBasket, victorious in a high-flying thriller against Lithuania (102-94, ap), and almost even already favorite for the last four with an opposition to come against Finland or Croatia. It’s a story of tradition and excellence, skillfully maintained by the eternal Rudy Fernandez, still bleeding from the top of his 37 springs (13 points at 4/7 and 3 rebounds). 18 years after his first selection, during the 2004 Olympic Games (!), the rear of Real Madrid remains the survivor of the golden years, the guarantor of a culture, after the international retirements of the Gasol brothers and Sergio Rodriguez.
12 points for Brown in overtime!
But it is also the story of a controversial decision, that of the naturalization of an American leader to compensate for the defection of the MVP of the 2019 World Cup, Ricky Rubio. Rather than trusting the young prodigy Juan Nunez, Spain has chosen to grant a passport to Lorenzo Brown, a native of Roswell in the heart of Georgia (USA), a player who has never even played in Liga Endesa . The long-term relevance will surely be questionable, especially when it comes to entrusting the keys to the rookie from Ulm, but at the moment T, this decision is a clear success. The Maccabi Tel-Aviv player was exceptional with 28 points at 9/20, 3 rebounds and 8 assists. Above all, he was decisive by accumulating 12 of his 28 units in overtime!
Seeing this Spain, and its not very flamboyant roster in the roller coaster, we would like to write that La Roja is eternal. But given the identity of the hero, we will beware of it … Still, the Iberian selection has set a new record with its 21st consecutive participation in a quarter-final of the EuroBasket, previously held by the USSR with 20. We have to go back to the 1977 edition to see a table without Spain at this stage of the competition.
Another failure for Lithuania
For its part, pushed by a green people who still came in large numbers to Berlin, Lithuania saw a new fiasco on the international scene. Since their EuroBasket 2015 final (lost to… Spain), the Baltic selection has gone from disappointment to disappointment, already eliminated in the round of 16 of EuroBasket 2017, not qualified for the final phase of the Cup of the World 2019 then exit in the final of the TQO last year by Slovenia. Long in control of the game (47-58, 25th minute) with an excellent Mindaugas Kuzminskas (18 points), the Lithuanians gradually cracked, despite the extension torn from the buzzer with the fingertips by the excellent Ignas Bradzeikis. Unable to win in a tight match in this tournament (0/4), Kazys Maksvytis’ team is about to live through complicated hours, with the debate on the cohabitation between Domantas Sabonis and Jonas Valanciunas which should not come out soon. The one on the naturalization of Lorenzo Brown didn’t need that to be relaunched, but Spain doesn’t care…
It is perhaps the weakest Spanish team of the last fifteen years. And yet, this Roja there is in the quarter-finals of the EuroBasket, victorious in a high-flying thriller against Lithuania (102-94, ap), and almost even already favorite for the last four with an opposition to come against Finland or Croatia. It’s a story…
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