Credit: ZUMAPRESS.com/Scanpix
Credit ZUMAPRESS.com/Scanpix

One day after Spain (3-0) faced Ukraine (1-2) for the FIBA 2023 World Cup qualifiers, getting an easy 88-74 win, Sergio Scariolo raised his voice against the war going on in Ukraine.

With a message on his Twitter account, the Italian coach of Virtus Bologna and the Spanish national team expressed his sympathy for the people of Ukraine,

"Very hard to accept that today I should be in Kyiv with my Spanish NT, facing a fierce opponent willing to compete in the only battle that we might accept as legitimate, on a basketball court. My thoughts and support for the Ukrainian people, hit so hard by this absurd war #StopWar!"

At the post-game presser Friday night, Scariolo made a couple of interesting reflections on sport and life.

"Sport unites people and allows us to understand that the competition is on a basketball, football or handball court. That is the real competition, which allows the right relationship between human beings.

Using sport to deliver messages of cohesion, fraternity and support is a way that over the years has had its power, form, and effect. Sport does not have to hide, it must be made strong. It is one of the fields in life in which positive values come out easily and very clearly if one has eyes to see."

Players and staff of Ukraine NT were warmly applauded by the Spanish crowd in Cordoba, lending the night a very emotional tone.

"It has been a moment in which it has been useful to them at a certain point to feel like basketball players in such a complicated moment," Scariolo remarked.

"What has surrounded the event in the stands has been very up to the situation, has given them an injection of support and affection. Many times, without being able to do much more, that's also important," he concluded.

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