Spain won the Gold Medal at the U16 European Championship 2009 in Lithuania. Our friends from www.Eurohopes.com who are based in Spain were of course the perfect authors of the Preview article on the Spanish team for the tournament in Hamburg that will start this Friday.
The Team coached by Diego Ocampo, current assistant coach of Cajasol Sevilla (ACB), repeats this summer with the same generation of players that won the Division “A” U-16 European Championship, played last summer in Kaunas (Lithuania) led by MVP Jaime Fernández.
The Spanish squad has not a Top-10 player of its generation in Europe, but has a group with very similar skills and compact level in their rotations, allowing them to maintain a frenetic intensity from the first until the last minute.
With Ocampo’s help we analyze the team and we can see that there are five players around 2 meters in the positions of forward and power-forward, but almost all are moving towards the outer position in their respective teams. There are also five players that during the season play in the point-guard and shooting-guard spots, but poorly defined. None of them is clearly a playmaker, but their aggressiveness in both sides hurts the opponent.
Ocampo explains us their purposes: “We will maintain last year’s values using a large number of players and keeping a very high level.”
In the two games they’ve played to prepare the next World Championship in Hamburg, some players have shined but possibly the most regular has been Asefa Estudiantes forward Javier Medori (’93). With 2 meters, he feels comfortable facing the basket, with excellent touch and excellent footwork. He has a nice ability to pass the ball, to read the game on offense and defense, to avoid mistakes and to score. He is possibly the only indispensable player in the Spanish “guerrilla.”
The result to build a team with this profile of players is a great commitment from all of them, playing with great versatility and very aggressive during all the game. The Spanish team has no dominant inside player or a point-guard who generates with skills, but the ambition, toughness and fighting spirit to test the next best prospects in the U17 World Championship.
Some days ago they lost power-forward Aitor Gomez (from FC Barcelona and MVP of the last Spanish U-16 final round) and guard Mikel Motos (Easo) due to injuries. In their place came forward Mamadou Diop and guard Alex Ramon, both from Saski Baskonia and currently playing at fifth division in the same team as British Devon Van Oostrum.
Spain played only two friendly games, both with victories over Canada (88-79) and Argentina (75-64). In the first win shined forward Daniel Diez (’93), from Real Madrid, with 15 points (6/9 FG) and 7 boards and forward Javier Medori (’93) with 14 (7/13 FG) and also 7 rebounds. In the other game both players repeated as the best: Diaz (15 with 6/6 and 6 boards) and Medori (13 with 5/9 and 5).
Together with Medori power-forward Daniel Diez, from Real Madrid, is hungry to compete. Most of his teammates played the Spanish U-18 final round with their teams, but Real Madrid couldn’t qualify for it like last season. He is talented and can do a lot of things. Do not hesitate to follow him, like Medori.
Official roster for Spain
Ricardo Pampano – 1m89 – Guard – 1993 – Cajasol Sevilla
Lluis Costa – m184 – Guard – 1993 – FC Barcelona
Jorge Sanz – 1m86 – Guard – 1993 – Real Madrid
Jaime Fernández – 1m88 – Guard – 1993 – Estudiantes
Luis Conde – 1m93 – Guard – 1993 – Unicaja Malaga
Alex Ramon – 1m85 – Guard – 1993 – Saski Baskonia
Fernando Cerqueira – 1m93 – Guard – 1993 – Joventut Badalona
Mamadou Diop – 2m03 – Forward – 1993 – Saski Baskonia
Javier Medori – 2m00 – Forward – 1993 – Estudiantes
Daniel Diez – 2m00 – Forward – 1993 – Real Madrid
Alex Suárez – 2m04 – Forward – 1993 – DKV Joventutt
Julen Olaizola – 2m02 – Center – 1993 – Real Madrid
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Spain qualified for the U17 World Championship as Gold Medal winner at the U16 European Championship 2009 in Kaunas. Spain beat Lithuania in the Final 70-64 behind 20pts, 3rebs and 4asts of Jaime Fernadez.