They have been competitive. They were almost perfect at the Graz Olympic Qualification. They had several shots to win. But the dream of Tokyo is fading for a huge team, a team that has once again set an example on the track, and that only the powerful teams of the United States and Japan have defeated Spain.
It has been five days of tension, of competitiveness, of effort. Five days in which Spain has brought out all the talent to go through rounds and reach those cruel semifinals that gave three passes to Tokyo for the four best teams in the Pre-Olympic in Graz. Cruel final for a huge team.
After reaching the semis, they have lost to the powerful United States, possibly at some distance from the rest of the teams. And then against Japan, a brutal team, which had France on the ropes in the semifinals and ended the dream of Spanish 3×3 basketball.
They won’t be in Tokyo, but they have brought 3×3 basketball to more fans, to more people. And they are a bit bigger. The day began in the morning defeating Australia, another of the favorite teams of this Pre-Olympic. Huge Vega Gimeno doing damage from outside and inside.
With the semis, the honor plate was sought. The United States arrived, a huge team with players who combine physicality and talent. It was competed, but it was not possible to get the ticket directly.
Efforts were reserved for third and fourth place against Japan. A crazy game like Asian basketball, with small players, good shooters and very fast. They began dominating the Japanese. Spain slowed down the game and looked for the inside game. Aitana and Vega did damage and Spain came with an advantage in the last minutes. An out-of-time basket by Aitana, a couple of defensive errors and a shot to win took the game into extra time.
Spain played it triple. Sandra and Vega threw good shots, but the ball did not want to enter and Japan closed the game with a basket from Mawuli. A cruel ending for a great team.
ROOMS: Spain-Australia (14-12)
SEMIS: Spain-United States (13-21)
3rd / 4th PLACE: Spain-Japan (18-20)