The players summoned by Sergio Scariolo for the third game of this first qualifying phase for the 2023 World Cup are already in Córdoba, where they met this afternoon to start training in the afternoon. It is the first time that Spain has played in the Cordoba capital since the summer of 2006, almost 16 years ago. Thursday’s match against Ukraine at the Vista Alegre Municipal Palace will be organized by the FEB with the collaboration of the Junta de Andalucía and the Córdoba City Council.
The Absolute Men’s National Team has played six matches in Córdoba throughout its history. The first two dates from 1993, both friendlies against Turkey and Ukraine respectively in Lolo Sainz’s debut as coach. Spain returned to the Cordovan capital a year later, in a match against France, and did not do so until 2005 and 2006.
This year is the last precedent, and it could not be better. Spain-China ended with a clear victory (96-49) just a few weeks before the team lifted the World Champion Cup in Saitama.
Of the six games played by Spain in Córdoba, three were victories and another three were defeats. Of course: they were all friendly matches. This Thursday, February 24, will be the first of an official nature, corresponding to the first qualifying phase for the 2023 World Cup. It will also be the second Spain-Ukraine that the people of Cordoba will experience.
The Spain-Ukraine in Córdoba will be the third in the qualifying phase to obtain the passport to the 2023 World Cup, which will be played in the Philippines, Indonesia and Japan. After the first Window, the National Team leads Group G with two wins (over North Macedonia and Georgia), while Ukraine is 1-1 after beating the Macedonians and losing to the Georgians. The second game scheduled for this Window, in Kiev, has been postponed and moved by FIBA ??to the dates of the June-July Window.
The Men’s National Team has not played in Córdoba since 2006, but the capital of the Mezquita did receive the Women’s National Team a few months ago. It was a preparation match for the Eurobasket, against Belgium, and it was special because in minute 9 the clock stopped and the FEB dedicated an emotional tribute to Laia Palau –with the surprise presence of her family- to celebrate her 300 caps absolute of her.
THE SEAM IN CORDOBA
1993 friendly 72-50 x Turkey
1993 friendly 83-87 x Ukraine
1994 friendly 68-70 x France
1994 friendly 91-84 x Argentina
2005 friendly 98-99 x Croatia
2006 friendly 96-49 x China