Two brothers stood as vehicles that drove Spain to the Basketball World Cup semi-finals in China, but it wasn’t NBA All-Stars Marc and Pau Gasol. It’s Hernangomez brothers.
Charlotte Hornets center Willy Hernangomez drilled 18 points and brother Juancho, the Denver Nuggets forward, scored 14 in a 90-78 quarter-final victory over Poland on Tuesday.
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They have pretty much more to do in emulating the Gasols, who have been at the center of the story when talking about the success of Spain team for nearly 15 years, though they maybe poised to inherit the crown of Spain’s standout siblings.
“I would be so happy about that because Juancho and Willy are extremely talented players,” Spain coach Sergio Scariolo said.
“They have needed experience on the court because they are in and out when they play in the NBA.
“To be great like Marc and Pau have been, they need to have concentration and make the right decisions,” the 58-year-old Italian told FIBA.com.
Three-time NBA All-Star, and 34-year-old Marc, has been absolutely helpful to Spain at the World Cup, just like he was in the Toronto Raptors’ historic move to the NBA crown.
Though Pau didn’t recover from a foot operation in time enough to join them to China. Hopefully, the six-time All-Star and two-time NBA champion would be in the Spain squad for one last Olympic hurrah in Tokyo.
That brings to heart the two sets of siblings on Spain’s roster in Tokyo. Scariolo, who has taken Spain to their first World Cup semi-final since 2006, the year they won it with the Gasols.
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“They need to overcome obstacles when they have bad nights. The World Cup is a great chance for them to prove themselves in bigger roles.” he said, referring to the Hernangomez duo.
Juancho, the younger brother by two years at 23 has played 137 minutes and averaging 10.8 points in China. He was described as the player of the game in a tough second-round victory against Italy with 16 points, scooping up the slack for his idol Gasol, who was uncharacteristically low with only two points and one major assist.
Looks like the Hernangomez brothers have basketball right in their blood, as their younger sister Andrea, stands 6ft 1in (185cm), in US college basketball and is a Spanish youth international member.