first impressions and the role of Spain

  • The best U19s of the main leagues in Europe # FIBAU19 (2nd phase): Spain falls to Lithuania. Australia waits in quarters

Between July 3 and 11, the FIBA ​​U19 Men will be held. This will be the fifteenth edition and the second time it has been presented in Latvia. After the stoppage and absence of the U17 World Cup and the rest of the competitions due to Covid-19, we will be able to enjoy the best young players of the Generation of 2002 and as part of the future of world basketball.

Official website of the U19 World Cup


In the absence of previous qualifying tournaments on each continent, FIBA ​​has opted for the fast track and take advantage of the FIBA RANKING of training basketball and include the best classified from this list. Of the 16 representatives, one is for the host of the event (Latvia), 5 seats come from Europe (France, Serbia, Turkey, Lithuania and Spain), 4 from America (USA, Canada, Puerto Rico and Argentina), from Asia / Oceania there are another 4 (Australia, China, Japan and South Korea). The only qualifying event that was held was at the end of 2020 and its two representatives were announced from Africa: Mali and Senegal.

The great absentee, due to the circumstances of the direct qualification, is that he will not participate Croatia. This team was champion in the U16 category in 2018 against Spain, highlighting players such as Boris Tisma (´02), Ivan Perasovic (´02) and a possible selection for the NBA Draft of 2021, as is Roko Prkacin (´02).

The competition system is the same as in recent years. The 16 teams play in four groups of four, all with access to the Round of 16 and from there they cross to a single match, until the grand final of the tournament.


Still to see which team can go to the appointment, the Spanish team will be integrated in Group C, where the selections of South Korea, Argentina and France. Tough rivals, who will put our team to the test and that a priori the main rivals will be the Argentines and mainly the French.

It must be taken into account that the crossing of the round of 16 will be made with Group D and that depending on how they are, they could play against EE UU, which is the eternal favorite in these events, Turkey, Australia and Mali. This neighboring group can be considered the one of death, also depending on who they include in their ranks, but all of them can be dangerous in the aspirations for Spain, in the fight for the medals.

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As usually happens in the U19 World Cups, possible and future ones must be avoided at all costs clashes between Spain and the United States. We have looked at the options and taking into account that they are first in Group D, the Spanish team should be in the first or third position, to avoid that possible crossing against the North Americans. If they are fourth, he would face them in the Round of 16. If they will be seconds, that possible confrontation could take place in the semifinals. All this, bearing in mind that the US team is as fearsome, as we can think it can be.

What team would you take with you for this U19 World Cup if you were the Spanish coach? We take advantage of this preview to launch a possible list of players who could participate in the Spanish team. Next, we leave you our list, taking into account that we believe that Usman Garuba (´02) will not participate in the U19 team, but in the absolute.

Guillem Ferrando (Base 1.85. Valencia. EBA) 14.1 pts, 3.7 reb, 5.3 assists in 27 minutes.

Pablo Marin (Base 1.90. Benicarló. Silver) 5.8 pts, 2.2 reb, 0.8 assists in 19 minutes.

* Rubén Domínguez (Escort 1.97. Students. EBA) 16.3 pts, 4.7 reb, 3.3 assists in 28 minutes.

Millán Jiménez Garrido (Escort 1.98. Valencia) 18.7 pts, 6.8 reb, 3.6 assists in 26 minutes.

Pau Shopkeeper (Escort 1.94. Barça. Silver) 3.3 pts, 1.1 reb, 0.3 assis in 9 minutes.

Manex Ansorregui (Forward 1.94. Juaristi. Silver) 5.3 pts, 3.5 reb, 0.4 assists in 15 minutes.

* Miguel Allen (Forward 2.03. Joventut. EBA) 16.5 pts, 7.9 reb, 1 assist in 28 minutes.

Hector Alderete (Forward 2.02. Students. EBA) 8.8 pts, 4.4 reb, 2 assists in 22 minutes.

* Michael Caicedo (Forward 1.97. Barça. Silver. Silver) 3.1 pts, 2.6 reb, 1 assist in 13 minutes.

Adria Domenech (Power-Forward 2.05. Silver Prat.) 8.6 pts, 4.1 reb, 0.6 assists in 19 minutes.

Ruben De la Torre (Power forward 2.02. GranCa. Plata) 14.1 pts, 6.1 reb, 1.1 assists in 31 minutes.

Alonso Faure (Power-forward 2.08. Loyola. NCAA) 5.2 pts, 3.6 reb, 0.8 assists in 13 minutes.

With * players born in 2003


One reason why this U19 World Cup is a bit decaffeinated is the future NBA Draft. There are several international players from the Generation of 2002 who could question their participation in this event, especially to seek a more specific preparation for their possible incorporation into the best league in the world.

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In the case of Usman Garuba (´02), not only can this option weigh on him, but he can also join the senior team for the Olympics this summer. The Spanish player from Real Madrid is in all pools to enter among the 10-20 best players of this edition.

The australian Josh Giddey (´02) is having a spectacular season in the first division of his country. This 2.03 guard is being the maximum assistant of the entire competition, whose averages are 11.3 points, 7.3 rebounds and 7.5 assists per game. The Spanish fan can remember him because he was the MVP of the 2020 Hospitalet Tournament. Like Garuba, they can consider him as a player for the Olympic Games. Everything seems to indicate that he will end in the first round of the next Draft, even in some pages they put him ahead of Garuba himself.

He comes from being the player of the day in the Turkish league. Alperen Sengun (´02) has gone from being the best player on a “losing” team in the first league days, to continuing to be the best on a team in Playoffs positions, in the first division of his country. Second top scorer (19.2), second top rebounder (9.4) and second top blocker (1.7). He is straddling the first and second rounds of the NBA Draft. We see his participation in this U19 World Cup complicated.

The least known on this list is French Juhann begarin (´02). He does not compete in the French first division, but in the second in the ranks of Paris Basketball. His numbers are being 11.6 points, 4.1 rebounds and 2.7 assists. A player with enormous physical abilities and one of the highest rated players of his generation in France. In the latest forecasts they have put him in the second round of the Draft, but of the four he is the player who a priori has fewer options.

But evidently, the country that more absences will be the US. Some of these players are assumed in the first round of the Draft and both some of those we mentioned, and those who are not (in a possible second round), we find their participation in this event very complicated. Jalen Green He was already champion in the 2019 U19 World Cup, being two years younger and one of the best in the American team, author of 10.1 points per game. It is expected that he will be in the top positions of the NBA Draft. Jonathan Kuminga It will be another of the attractions of the Draft and like Jalen, both did not go to university, but played games in the G-League. Other players will be Moses Moody, Keon Johnson y Jaden Springer, among other possible protagonists.

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The North Americans are the big favorites to repeat the title. They are looking for their eighth title in the fifteenth edition of the U19 World Cup. For them it is one of the first continental experiences, where they want to demonstrate their dominance over the rest and we have also met future NBA stars.

In 1979 they won the first edition of this event. With classic NBA players like Sam Perkins, Lafayete Lever and James Worthy. They repeated in 1983, winning in the final to the USSR of Sabonis, Volkov, Marciulionis and Tikhonenko. But Kenny Walker (22pt) and Scott Skiles (15) were superior 78-82. In 1987 they fell in the final against the mythical Yugoslavia of Kukoc and Radja, among many others, but in 1991 they lifted their third title against the Italy of Fucka and Abbio by 85-90. Wesley Person was the best known player of that generation.

However, not all were successes and as in 1987, the USA did not win the next four events. Sometimes they didn’t even make it to the final. Although in two of them they did, as was the case in Lisbon in 1999, where they lost to our mythical generation of the “Junior de Oro”. Something that questioned future American generations.

In the following six editions, the US won four more titles, demonstrating its hegemony over the rest. In this period, the win / loss balance is 45-3, being the best country by far. Since 1979 and in the fourteen editions disputed, it has only lost 14 games. And they are already only two victories away from achieving 100.

7 Gold medals, 3 Silver medals and 1 Bronze medal.

RANKING FIBA (See full list here)

1º EE UU (700 points)

2nd Canada (384)

3rd Spain (378)

4th France (367)

5th Lithuania (339)

6th Turkey (311)

7º Serbia (309)

8th Croatia (220)

9th Argentina (210)

10th Italy (202)

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