Scariolo: “Japan is a dangerous team” / Rudy: “The illusion of 2006 is still intact”
Precedents: against Japan, only victories (5-0)
As on many other occasions, Spain has been in the same group as the host country, and it has also had to start by looking at their faces. And in a tournament with a different format than usual, demanding from the first match, it is doubly dangerous. The coach has warned, Sergio Scariolo, who recalled the two victories achieved by the team led by Julio Lamas in its preparation phase over rivals at the level of Belgium and Italy.
The two key pieces of the Japanese are the NBA power forward Rui Hachimura and Yuta Watanabe, which in the inner game accompany the Japanese-Americans Gavin Edwards and Avi Schafer. With them, the team has enhanced its physical appearance, while on the outside it maintains its threat of long shots. And they have nothing to lose this Monday in Saitama. Spain’s assistant coach, Luis Guil, who has worked in Japan for two years, assures that it is a team whose game “resembles the Argentine and Spanish teams. Before they threw senseless, now they play very well. “
Scariolo, for his part, will hardly be able to count on Xabi López-Aróstegui, the emergency substitute for Juancho Hernangómez. But although it will be forced to a shorter rotation, in principle Spain has a higher individual and collective quality, and of course more international experience than the Japanese. It will not be an easy first step, but the National Team faces it with the best guarantees and fully aware of the importance of 40 minutes.
Spain will take to the pitch knowing the result of the first group match, which will face Argentina and Slovenia (06:40, Spanish time) in a duel that promises to be explosive. The Argentines will be the next rivals of Spain, next Thursday 29.