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Albert Schweitzer 2012: Spain Preview

April 3rd, 2012 · 1 Comment

The Spanish Youth Teams are known for being favorites in nearly every age group. It is the same with the team that will come to Mannheim for the 26th edition of the Albert Schweitzer Tournament as explains Marti Artigas.

The 1994 Spanish generation is ready to fight for the title in Mannheim, with the addition of only one 1995 player, but it is a big player: 6’10’’ C Ilimane Diop (Caja Laboral). Some of these kids finished only one step from the Bronze medal in 2010 U16 European Championship iin Montenegro. In that event 6’0’’ PG Josep Pérezwas selected in the All-Tournament Team and now, almost two years later, he has appeared in some games with FC Barcelona in ACB and Euroleague. He doesn’t play with the U18 team –only big events like NIJT- but he finally will be in Mannheim. He has been playing all the season with LEB Silver farm team (8.4 points and 3.1 assists in 27’) and will be the real “alma mater” of Spain in Germany. He appeared in the Hospitalet tournament last Christmas and in his first contest he scored 31 with 5/16 threes against Spars Sarajevo. He generates a lot with his game, and has great scoring skills. His upside will depend of his physical conditions.

Diop can be one of the surprises of the event. The Spanish federation expects a lot of him in the future. In his first official tournament last summer with Spain he also was selected in the All-Tournament Team of the U16 European Championship. Has a huge wingspan (around 7’8’’) and with only 16 years he is competing at senior level with UPV Alava in EBA (fourth division). In this league he is surprising (6.0 points, 6.8 rebounds and 2.1 blocks in only 23’). He will be the youngest player in Mannheim, but for sure will play a lot as he is a  great shotblocker and rebounder. Poland suffered against him last summer: 14 points, 11 rebounds and 7 blocks.

Albert Homs, from Fiatc Joventut, is another of the references. Even he is not progressing as was expected one of the reasons is the bad season he had last year. The 6’6’’ shooting-guard practiced a lot with the ACB team when Pepu Hernández was the coach, without letting him play U18 and LEB Silver. This lack of competition and the mononucleosis he suffered didn’t help him. He missed almost one season, so now he is recovering. Homs has a great body to play at the perimeter, with good dribbling skills (he played at the PG before). He surprises everybody when breaks his defender and penetrates over the rim, but this only happens a few times. Let’s see if Albert Schweitzer tournament will help him to make a step forward.

Javi Marinwill be in the event also. The 6’4’’ guard usually practices with CAI Zaragoza and already made his debut in ACB. He plays at EBA division with Olivar (9 points and 3.7 assists in 27’). Pérez, Marin and Homs must complete the best perimeter on court. Marin can play in all outside positions, and has body to play at high level in the future. Really interesting to follow.

Guillermo “Willy” Hernángómezis maybe the player who has made a bigger step forward. The 6’9’’ C has grown a lot since we saw him grabbing 18 offense rebounds in Bar (Montenegro) two summers ago. In that contest Turkey shocked against him as he finished with 20 points and 23 rebounds. In Real Madrid they’ve put him in EBA farm team also, and is shining with 7.3 points, 5.4 rebounds and 1.1 blocks in 19 minutes. He is getting bigger and bigger, with good muscles and doing a good job to become and important player in the future also.

Even Spanish federation still hasn’t released the 12-men final roster there are other prospects with a lot of chances to be in the tournament. Some days ago we saw on live 6’4’’ SG Oriol Pauli, from Barcelona. He got injured at the beginning of the season, and after recovering now he is in a good shape. Quite complete. He is a good defender, can drive the ball and is a correct shooter. Alberto Díaz, from Unicaja, has options to be one of the point-guards there. The 6’1’’ prospect already played some good minutes in LEB Gold with Clínicas (3.8 points and 2 rebounds in 17 minutes). He could be a great addition to be Pérez backup. Edgar Vicedo, from Estudiantes, is playing in a great level this season also. 6’7’’ player can make the SF or the PF, doing many things well, while his teammate Dario Brizuela (6’4’’, SG) should take one of the spots also. But we cannot forget hardnose Sergi Hernández (6’8’’, C), from Fiatc Joventut, or long Sebastian Saiz(6’8’’, C) from Estudiantes.

Playing at a medium-high level spaniards should be one of the favourites for the title. A player to watch? Diop, of course.

Marti Artigas is one of the founders of eurohopes.com. You can follow him on Twitter as well @eurohopes

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Juan Cobos // Apr 3, 2012 at 9:46 pm

    To me, Edgar Vicedo could start relegating Homs to a backup role. I’d say Vicedo is probably 6’8” right now, and has been shooting the lights out lately.

    Great upside.

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