Caceres – Grand finale for the BluesThat they beat Spain at home 68-72 winning again against the Iberians after 8 years (EuroBasket 2015, 105-98 in Berlin) and at their home after 18 years (Mediterranean Games 2005, 86-74 in El Ejido). The +4 is not enough to get first place in group L, won by the hosts.

Top blue scorer William Carusoauthor of a performance made of 19 points (new career high after 4 in a friendly in Germany in 2021) and 7 rebounds.

Dream debut for Davide Casarin, who ends his first in Azzurro with 10 points in 11 minutes. All the other 10 Azzurri scored.

Thus the CT Gianmarco Pozzecco: “I am very proud of all my boys. They play with their hearts and deserve all the satisfaction possible. We came to Spain to play and win without looking at the standings and tonight everyone scored and everyone left the field happy. Even tonight we prepared the match perfectly and beyond any classification, I’m very happy for the victory and for having broadened the base of Italian players for the future. Now we have time to think about the World Championship but I want to thank all the staff and the Federation for putting us in the best conditions to achieve this result”.

As William Caruso, top scorer of the evening: “We knew it would be a tough match but we took to the field with the right mentality and after forming a group in just a few days. I’m happy with my performance but even more so with that of the whole team. An evening to remember”.

The race

The match begins with Spain, making their first home appearance as number 1 in the world rankings after the historic overtaking of the United States. Coach Scariolo’s boys immediately try to escape, thanks to a few too many mistakes from the Azzurri’s line but the tears are never so large. Pozzecco throws Visconti and Caruso into the fray and the duo’s energy pays dividends. Especially at the beginning of the second quarter, when Guglielmo Caruso takes the stage and scores 7 consecutive points (including alley-oop with Bortolani) which are worth the draw (18-18). The triples by Busquets and Garcia nullify all efforts putting the Iberians back ahead (27-20).

To record, at the 15th, the absolute debut of Davide Casarin, sixth rookie of the Pozzecco management after Okeke, Petrucelli, Woldetensae, Severini and Visconti. Once again from the bench comes the acceleration that catches Spain on the counterattack: the Azzurra wave produces a lot with Severini, Casarin himself and Woldetensae (triple). Diouf’s basket closes a second quarter with 20 points and sends Italy to rest at +4 (29-33).

The great moment also continues in the second half: Casarin, in a competitive trance, scores 7 points and the Azzurri fly to +9 in the 25th minute. The climate of the Caceres Pabellon (sold-out with 6,000 people) is inflamed and tries to support the comeback of the hosts. Far from intimidated, Pozzecco’s “best of youth” withstood the impact and with Caruso closed the third fraction on + 8 (44-52). Severini’s triple at the beginning of the last quarter is worth +13 (44-57) and from that moment Italy shows off personality and concentration. The 2004 triple Nunez and the dunk by Busquet mark the vehement return of Spain (60-67). Diaz’s fifth foul is good news but Mannion’s 1/3 free throw leaves the result in question with 1:44 to go. Nico returns to the line for a 2/2 after Bassas’ triple and Italy leads 70-63 in the final seconds. The last turn of the clock is not enough for Spain to win and for Italy to reach the +5 which would have given them the lead in the group. A prestigious victory remains and an evening which, in addition to the result, gives Italy the feeling of being on the right path to building a solid future.

Georgia snatches the last world championship pass. Eliminate Iceland, Ukraine and the Netherlands.

The Azzurri therefore achieved the second consecutive qualification for a World Championship after that of 2019 and the tenth overall (1963, 1967, 1970, 1978, 1986, 1990, 1998, 2006, 2019, 2023).

These are the teams already qualified for the FIBA ​​World Cup 2023:

Europe (12): Italy, France, Germany, Greece, Latvia, Finland, Lithuania, Spain, Slovenia, Georgia, Montenegro

Africa (5): Ivory Coast, South Sudan, Egypt, Angola, Cape Verde

America (7): United States, Canada

Asia/Oceania (8): Japan (Host Country), Philippines (Host Country), China, Australia, New Zealand, Lebanon, Jordan, Iran

The group stage draw will take place on 29 April in Manila. Even before the draw, it is known that Japan and Slovenia will play in Okinawa, USA and Philippines in Manila and Canada in Jakarta.

The scoreboard

Spain-Italy 68-72 (16-13, 13-20, 15-19, 24-20)

Spain: Vicedo (0/1 from 3), Perez 15 (5/5, 1/2), Busquets 7 (2/2, 1/4), Vila 4 (1/4, 0/1), Garcia 5 ( 1/2, 1/3), Diaz* 4 (2/4, 0/3), Salvò* 7 (0/2, 1/5), Guerrero*, Reyes (0/1), Bassas 11 (1/ 3, 2/4), Nunez* 8 (4/7), Parra* 7 (1/2, 1/3). All: Scariolo

Italy: Spissu* 3 (1/3 from three), Mannion* 10 (2/4, 0/5), Flaccadori 5 (2/3, 0/2), Tessitori* 2 (0/4), Bortolani 2 ( 1/1, 0/5), Moraschini* 2 (1/3), Casarin 10 (1/1, 1/2), Caruso 19 (9/10, 0/1), Diouf 2 (1/1), Visconti 6 (1/3, 1/5), Severini* 8 (0/1, 2/5), Woldetensae 3 (0/1, 1/1). All: Pozzecco

Shots from two Spa 17/32, Ita 18/32; Shots from three Spa 7/26, Ita 6/29; Free throws Spa 13/15, Ita 18/25. Rebounds Spa 36 (Perez, Nunez 8), Ita 36 (Severini 9). Assist Spa 15 (Perez, Garcia, Bassas 3), Ita 18 (Spissu, Flaccadori 4).

5 fouls issued: Diaz (Spain)

Spectators: 6,000

Referees: Gatis Salins (Latvia), Martin Horozov (Bulgaria), Peter Praksch (Hungary)

FIBA World Cup 2023 Qualifiers

L group standings

Spain 18 (8/2)*

Italy 18 (8/2)*

Georgia 15 (5/5)*

Iceland 15 (5/5)

Ukraine 14 (4/6)

Netherlands 10 (0/10)

*qualified for the World Cup

L group schedule

August 24th

Georgia-Netherlands 77-66

Ukraine-Italy 89-97

Spain-Iceland 87-57

August 27th

Netherlands-Spain 64-86

Italy-Georgia 91-84

Iceland-Ukraine 91-88 a1ts

11 November

Netherlands-Ukraine 77-96

Iceland-Georgia 85-88

Italy-Spain 84-88 d1ts

November 14th

Ukraine-Iceland 79-72

Georgia-Italy 84-85

Spain-Netherlands 84-72

February 23rd

Iceland-Spain 61-80

Netherlands-Georgia 80-88

Italy-Ukraine 85-75

February 26th

Ukraine-Netherlands 72-56

Georgia-Iceland 77-80

Spain-Italy 68-72

(Source Press Office of the Italian Basketball Federation)(photo@Italbasket)

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