Sergio Scariolo couldn't hide his happiness about how well his team played on the way to one of the most unexpected victories in EuroBasket history.

Credit: FIBA
Credit FIBA

Not so long ago, Sergio Scariolo couldn't continue watching Serbia playing Slovenia in the preparation stage for the EuroBasket 2022 because the talent on the court almost made him depressed.

But now Slovenian and Serbian representatives were depressed watching probably the least talented Spanish national team on paper in years, but still celebrating the gold medal in four of the last six European championships.

"We got into this championship with the eighth place in the power rankings. And we managed to climb it step by step," Scariolo smiled with pride after a win in the gold-medal game vs. France 88-76.

"We won against unbelievable teams, full of NBA and EuroLeague players or All-Stars. All the other teams in this extremely high-level European championship. It's been amazing to see the final ranking now and how we're above all those great teams," Scariolo said in the press conference.

"As a basketball coach, I feel so happy because we played such a nice basketball. Let me be a basketball coach, and let me be happy about how we played," Scariolo was in joy.

"We played great defense and offense. Our limits could have probably led to a sloppy offense and low-scoring basketball. But we were excellent at playing basketball at a high pace, sharing the ball, with many assisted baskets, unselfishness, and good execution.

The patience and ability to overcome difficult moments as a team, not just by individual actions. Honestly, as a basketball coach, I feel really happy that these guys followed since day one," Scariolo concluded.

Soon after the media session started, the rest of the team stormed the press conference room and showered both coach Scariolo and the MVP of the EuroBasket, Willy Hernangomez.

When things got back to normal, Scariolo was reminded of the comparison he made after winning the EuroBasket 2011.

He compared that group with Ferrari. Reminded about it and asked what car he was driving in this EuroBasket, Scariolo smiled and thought for a second.

"Driving Ferrari is tough because you have to keep a lot of details about a machine full of delicate pieces. This year I was a little more rude, demanding, and even aggressive at times. Because I felt it was the way to drive this car," Scariolo added.

"Since I felt players were not feeling offended for me driving hard, we got to push to keep the foot down a little bit more. Do things that previously, back then, I couldn't even dare to do. But every situation is different. You have to adjust as the coach," Scariolo analyzed.

"You got to understand the personnel, strengths, and weakness and try to magnify ones and minimize others," Scariolo concluded.

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