01 - 09
July 2017
7 Eric MARTINEZ VILA (Spain); 4 Dorde ALEKSIC (Bosnia and Herzegovina)
to read

Spain coach Guil gets important trio back for Cairo 2017

MADRID (FIBA U19 Basketball World Cup 2017) - Spanish coach Luis Guil will have three important players back on his team for the FIBA U19 Basketball World Cup 2017 that were missing from the qualifying FIBA U18 European Championship 2016.

Guil pulled off a masterful coaching performance in getting Spain to Cairo 2017 by finishing fifth at the European U18 tournament. Due to the postponement of the tournament from the summer to December, the coach was missing two of his top players, Eric Vila and Joshua Tomaic - both who were in the United States attending colleges.

Both Vila, who plays for Texas A&M University, and the University of Maryland forward Tomaic are on Spain's preliminary 15-man squad for the U19 showcase.

Spain's preliminary 15-man roster for FIBA U19 Basketball World Cup 2017
Ignacio Ballespin Joan Bernacer Osas Ehigitor Maxim Esteban Pol Figueras
Aleix Font Dani Garcia Pol Molins Acoydan McCarthy Victor Moreno
Ignacio Rosa Alvaro Sanz Joshua Tomaic Bernat Vanaclocha Eric Vila

Also missing from the U18 team in Samsun last December but on the team is the center Osas Ehigiator, who got injured just before the tournament in Turkey.

Guil chose nine players from the U18 European team, including leading scorer Aleix Font, who scored 16.3 points a game while also grabbing 5.8 rebounds a game. Also back is the third leading scorer and third leading rebounder Ignacio Rosa, who returns with fellow center Bernat Vanaclocha. Spain's top assist man Pol Figueras - 5.0 assists a game - is also back from the team in Turkey.

One of the new players nominated for the team is Acoydan McCarthy, who played for Spain at the FIBA U17 Basketball World Cup last summer, along with Ohigiator and Joan Bernacer.

"I think that this is a real team," Guil said of his U19 group. "They are very good athletes and have great competitive talent."

Not on the U19 team is Sergi Martinez, who was on the All-Star Five of the FIBA U17 Basketball World Cup 2016 and was Spain's top player in efficiency at the U18 continental championship with a second-best 16.2 points to go with a team-best 9.3 rebounds.

At Cairo 2017, Spain are drawn into Group C with Canada, Japan and Mali. They will begin their training camp on June 9 in Zaragoza. The Iberians have warm-up games planned against Egypt on June 16 and 20, versus Germany on June 17 and against Italy on June 18. 

There is another preparation tournament planned in France with Spain taking on Lithuania on June 24, France on June 25 and Canada on June 26.