North Macedonia is this Friday in Zaragoza the first appointment of the Absolute Men’s National Team in its final stretch of the first qualifying phase for the 2023 World Cup. Assured the pass to the second, which will start in August and the one that Spain will have for rivals to Italy, Iceland and Holland, for the group led by Sergio Scariolo, the Macedonians will be an interesting touchstone before facing Georgia and Ukraine next week, in Tbilisi and Riga respectively.
It should be remembered that the results of this first phase against the other two teams that qualify will be counted in the group of the next one. With Spain and Georgia also qualified, Ukraine and North Macedonia will play for third place in their matches this Window. The Ukrainians have the advantage, with a balance of 1-3, while the Macedonians present a 0-4 that leaves them on the brink of elimination.
North Macedonia was Spain’s first rival, who sealed their visit to Skopje with a clear victory (65-94). On the second day, Spain also beat Georgia in Jaén (89-61) and on the third, Ukraine in Córdoba (88-74). It was the last game played by the National Team, because hours later their trip to kyiv was canceled due to the outbreak of the war. That game is the one that will be played next Thursday 7 in Riga.
For this first match of this Window, Sergio Scariolo has called up the following 12 players:
4 Jaime PRADILLA
6 Xabi LOPEZ-ARÓSTEGUI
7 Jaime FERNANDEZ
8 Dario BRIZUELA
9 Alberto DIAZ
11 Sebas SAIZ
12 Miquel SAVED
14 Jonathan BARREIRO
16 Santiago YUSTA
17 Yankuba SIMA
20 Ferran BASSAS
44 Joel PARRA
Scariolo: “Take steps forward in building the team”
“This may not be the most difficult game in the group, we have to admit, but the international level demands a lot of quality and athleticism.”
“Apart from the victory itself, which we should consider almost as a due act, it should also help us to take steps forward in building the team for the following games”.
“The important thing is that people come, enjoy with the National Team, with the Spanish players, with a basketball party, that they see the commitment and the eternal values ??of this team”.
Pradilla: “A great illusion to play in Zaragoza”
“A very great illusion, to come back here and play at home, in front of my family, my friends and all the Zaragoza fans who have always supported me”.
“We are going to go out and play an intense game, to run and play with our defensive rules”.
Saiz: “It’s a pleasure to be here”
“I really wanted to go back with my teammates. Every time you come and join the group quickly, even though I haven’t come in two years.”
“We are all training very well. The atmosphere of the Family, the culture of so many years in this team, each colleague who comes new picks it up very quickly. So it’s a pleasure to come here.”