A year ago, in the midst of the pandemic and after the postponement of the Games to this summer of 2021, FIBA modified its selection calendar to make space between the new Olympic dates. The women’s Eurobasket, organized by Spain (current champion) in Valencia, kept its scheduled dates and will be held between June 17 and 27. Meanwhile, the men’s Eurobasket went directly to 2022, from September 1 to 18, a year later than planned. This morning, in the draw held at the Verti Music Hall in Munich, Spain met its rivals in the first phase of the tournament. Sergio Scariolo’s team will face Russia, Turkey, Georgia, Belgium and Bulgaria and will play at the headquarters in Tbilisi (Georgia). An encompassing group for Spain, with Russia as the rival with the greatest cache attending to its ninth place in the FIBA ranking. In return, the crossing after the first phase would face the selection with those classified in the most powerful group, B, formed by France, Lithuania, Slovenia and Germany, as important rivals, in addition to Hungary and Belarus.
The first phase of Eurobasket 2022 will be played by league system in four groups of six teams each, in four venues: Prague (Czech Republic), Tblisi (Georgia), Cologne (Germany) and Milan (Italy). After the five group days, the first four classified in each group (16 teams) will qualify for the crosses that will lead to the fight for the medals. The final phase (eighth, quarterfinal, semifinal and final) will be played entirely in Berlin (Germany).
The men’s Europeans, which accumulate 40 editions, were contested strictly respecting the biannual sequence between 1947 and 2017. But, after 70 years of regularity, the changes in the FIBA calendar and the pandemic have drawn a five-year period without European championships, a gap since 2017 (when Spain achieved bronze behind Doncic’s Slovenia and Serbia) until 2022. Throughout its history, the Spanish team has achieved 13 medals in 32 participations in the Eurobasket, the last six in the form consecutive in the last six editions. In total: three golds (2009, 2011 and 2015), six silver (1935, 1973, 1983, 1999, 2003 and 2007) and four bronzes (1991, 2001, 2013 and 2017).
The psychedelic configuration of the windows, the new qualifying path for FIBA tournaments since 2018, is both treacherous, as to leave the 2017 European champion Slovenia out of the past World Cup in China, and friendly, as to allow Spain win the ticket to the next Eurobasket with only two wins against Romania, the second of them in the month of November and two days in advance. Scariolo’s team finished second in their qualifying group, with a balance of four wins and two losses, behind Israel (5-1). The coach used 26 players, 10 of them debutants, in this second edition of the windows and was able to dedicate the February concentration, with the pass to the Eurobasket already sealed, to continue the search for resources and expand the international experience of the base that will lead the generational relay.