Good start to this long road to the 2023 World Cup. While Georgia and Ukraine played a very even game with the Georgians winning, Spain achieved a comfortable victory and a +29 average in favor in Skopje against a North Macedonia that did not He was able to withstand the talent of Sergio Scariolo’s men. Comfortable victory, minutes for everyone, and great numbers for the debutants: Yankuba Sima (17 points and 7 rebounds), Jaime Pradilla (6 points) and Dani Pérez (8).

The route was started on the track by Colom, Fernández, López-Aróstegui, Díez and Guerra. They have done it with the logical nerves of the start but with character and seriousness, so that although the Macedonians have opened the scoring and have scored the first triple they have launched, from 5-4, broken by a triple by Xabi, Spain He has come to control the scoreboard and has reached a +8 (7-15, minute 6) after a penetration by Colom. Already with Wiley on the court, who has not formed in the Macedonian starter, Yankuba Sima and Jaime Pradilla have debuted. The pivot’s first action was a spectacular dunk after alley-oop (12-17). With the relays, Spain has not lost its rhythm, its attack has been play by play a little more fluid, although without much success in the outside shot and the normal difficulties to acquire the rhythm. Two free throws by Brizuela closed the first quarter (14-21) with Spain dominating the game and little by little finding itself.

The first successful offensive action in the second quarter has been a 2 + 1 by Sima that has raised the score to +10 (14-24), with which the National Team has been increasingly established on the court and giving the game your own pace. Shortly after, Dani Pérez lived his first minutes as an absolute international. The Macedonians had tightened until 18-24 but an assist from him has generated a triple from Parra against the local zone that has replaced Spain (18-27). A mate from Wiley raised Macedonian spirits but Sima’s struggle had a prize (20-29, minute 14) before returning the baton to Guerra. An explosive combination of his with Díez has shot the score for the first time to more than 11 points (20-31, minute 15). Two free throws by Dani set the maximum of +14 (22-36, minute 17) and Spain ended up closing the first half with a good 30-41 after a quick counterattack culminated by Pradilla.

He couldn’t have started the third quarter better: a 0-7 run thanks to having dominated the defensive rebound, coming out in quick transitions, two very good assists from Fran and a front triple from López-Aróstegui. Result: 30-48 with just a minute and a half played. And playing without urgency, although the Macedonians have not thrown in the towel, Spain has shown its best level and has sometimes even easily broken the Macedonian zonal defense. The Balkan response has been only in isolated actions; the dominance of Spain, with continuity and security, and the score has already shot up to 37-68 (minute 28) after 8 almost consecutive points by Jaime Fernández, two free throws by Díaz and a triple by Brizuela (37-68) . The part of this quarter was 17-29, cut by a very distant triple from Mekic on the horn.

The last quarter began with two consecutive triples by Dani Pérez, who made it 52-73 before the last attempt by the Balkans to tighten the score. Scariolo continued to measure the minutes of his players (with the twelve playing a minimum of 10 minutes) and with all opening their scoreboard. The maximum of 33 points was diminished to 19 with the victory already decided and with North Macedonia more successful in the face of the basket. Scariolo put the three debutants on track in the final minutes with Yankuba Sima pounding the rival rim as in the first quarter.

Georgia 88 Ukraine 83

In the other group match, Spain’s rival on Monday in Jaén, Georgia, beat Ukraine 88-83 with McFadden (27), Shermadini (23), Shengelia (16) and Burjanadze (11) as big stilettos.