Credit: FIBA
Credit FIBA

Spain (1-0) got off on the right foot on their way to the 2023 World Cup, crushing North Macedonia (0-1) 94-65 (21-14, 20-16, 29-17, 24-18) in the first match of the first qualifying round, in which they will also have to play Georgia and Ukraine.

Without players from the NBA or the EuroLeague, the Spanish team showed in Skopje much more solid than their hosts, as Macedonia have little if anything to do with the team that reached the 2011 EuroBasket semis.

Spain were led by Lopez Arostegui who scored 15 points (6/9 FG, 3/4 2-point shots, 3/5 3-point shots, 1 rebound). Jaime Fernández added 12 and national team debutant Yankuba Sima 15 points and 7 rebounds.

Macedonia saw Robev and Willey help them stay close in the first quarter (14-21), mainly because Spain started badly from behind the arc (1/8). In the second quarter 25-year-old Sima, registered 8 points and 4 rebounds to pace Spain to a double-digit lead (36-22).

At a time when the hosts were 4/16 from the perimeter, Spain got the chance to make a 7-29 partial score in the third quarter and seal their first win.

Teodor Simic shined for the losing side with 18 points (3/4 2-point shots, 3/4 3-point shots, 2 rebounds).

North Macedonia: Teodor Simic 18 (6/8 FG, 3/4 3-POINT SHOTS, 2 REB), Jacob Wiley 10 (5/8 FG).

Spain: Xabi Lopez-Arostegui 15 (6/9 FG, 3/4 2-POINT SHOTS, 3/5 3-POINT SHOTS, 1 REB), Yankuba Sima 15 (4/6 FG, 7 REB, 2 AST), Jaime Fernandez 12 (4/9 FG, 2 REB, 3 AST), Joel Parra 9, Dani Perez 8, Dani Diez 8.

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