By Eurohoops team/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Hours before the semifinal against Germany (16/9, 20.30 CET) Spanish national team captain Rudy Fernandez explained why this is a game that the Spanish dynasty must just enjoy.
Nobody expected this version of Spain to be this solid and this close to a medal and that’s also mirrored in the approach of the team for the game: “We are happy, enjoying this moment, hoping to move forward in this tournament. Now we just have to enjoy this opportunity. Whoever is on the court has to forget about all the pain and the whiplash of this championship and play a semifinal, which we don’t know if we have the chance to play again”.
Rudy as captain is also credited for firing up his teammates in the quarterfinals at halftime against Finland.
As he explained, he had to do it: “It was not a rant, it was a wake-up call. Everything that we had presented up to that moment in the tournament, was not reflected in the first part. And I think that if we have something good, it’s that we have played as a team, all united in defense and that is what was not seen in the first half. If we wanted to reach the semifinal it was up to us. We continue to think the same, thanks to the humility of this team we have arrived this far. We know that we are playing against a great team, so let’s enjoy the semifinal”.
Coach Sergio Scariolo admitted that even if this version of Spain may have already played above expectation, at this point they have to want more even if they face the Eurobasket hosts: “There’s satisfaction for what has been done so far, to be among the top four in such a demanding and high-quality championship. But at the same time, we want to continue competing with the feeling that we are going to face what has surely been the best team so far”.
Scariolo explains why he believes that Germany is so far the best team: “They really want to win a European championship at home, with a lot of motivation. You play against the host so it is a bit special but it is also an added motivation, we know that we have a very strong opposition and that it will take a great effort”.