The Miles Basketball Minute With Alex Rubiera(EPG Baskets Koblenz) Spain Are The Underdogs In This Eurobasket But I Believe They Can Upset Germany

Alejandro Rubiera (190-G-1998, agency: Interperformances) is a 24 year old 190cm guard from Spain playing his third season abroad in Germany for the EPG Baskets Koblenz. Last season he played for Vestri (Iceland-Subway League) averaging 12.5ppg, 3.4rpg, 3.7apg. He played the rest of his career in his home land Spain for teams like Gijon Basket 2015 (EBA), Aquimisa Carbajosa (LEB Silver) and BVM 2012 Mieres (EBA). He spoke to about the Euro 2022 and Spain.

Thanks Alex for talking to Where are you and how is basketball life treating you?

Good evening Miles, currently I’m in Koblenz, Germany. I’ve been here for a little over a month already.

Your playing your first season for German pro B team EPG Baskets. Last weekend you beat Pro A team Romerstrom Gladiators. How good did it feel beating a higher level team?

It always feel good to beat a team from a higher league, I think we played a solid game and got the win at home, which is what we all were looking for

You had a solid game with 9 points. How have you been adjusting to the Pro B level?

New team, new role, new city, new goals, new country, new expectations… a lot of changes have been going on for me in the last month, but all I think about, is achieving the team’s goal, which is moving to Pro A. I’m confident in myself, I know the potential I have as player, what I can do and what I’ve done in my career. As of now I’m focused on making an impact and help the team in whatever is needed.

Today we aren’t talking solely about your new season in Germany but the Euro 2022. How have you experienced it in Germany? Did you and some teammates see some games in Cologne or follow them on TV?

No, we didn’t go to Cologne to watch the games, even though I would have loved to. I’ve been watching and following this Eurobasket intensely. It has been very fun to watch and interesting to see how every country is doing. As a team we watched some Germany games together on TV and I watched all the Spain games on my laptop, while texting and talking to my family and friends about it.

It has been a great Euro that showcased great teams, great players and exciting games. What do you feel has been the reason for this Euro being so entertaining?

This Eurobasket has been outstanding mainly because many NBA and Euroleague stars decided to play this year. Jokic, Doncic, Giannis. Big names that bring a lot of value to the competition.

How have you experienced the play of Germany. They had a great 4-1 record in group play and had difficult opponents while other teams didn’t have tough groups. How vital was it for Germany beating countries like France, Lithuania and Bosnia for getting into the tournament well?

I am very surprised with Germany’s performance in this Eurobasket. They are looking very good. Quick guards, shooters, top level bigs… a lot of talent overall. They were in the toughest group of the Eurobasket and they proved a lot of people wrong.

Is there a German player that you have followed more closely? Like maybe a Maodo Lo or Nick Weiler Babb that play the guard position like you? Which German player has impressed you most?

The German player that has impressed me the most is Franz Wagner. I love his game, he basically can do anything at a high level in both ends of the floor. He is a killer.

Team Spain is a rebuild phase. What has been your impression of Team Spain in this Euro? Are they a medal team?

Team Spain is in rebuild phase but yet we are about to play our 11th Eurobasket semifinal in a row. Last time Spain missed the final four was in 1997, I wasn’t even born. It has been very special to watch and support this Spain team. Everybody has been writing them off, yet they keep winning and advancing. Young players with a lot of hunger guided by an amazing coach, Sergio Scariolo. It has been amazing to watch them. This year we are not the favorites to win a medal as past years, this year we are the underdogs, a team that can compete and surprise anybody. I believe in them.

There is still one player left from the golden generation of Pao Gasol with Rudy Fernandez. He is a player that influenced you over the last years. How important is having his presence on the court?

Rudy Fernandez is insane. He is 37 years old but he is diving for balls like a 19 year old would do, hitting clutch threes, getting steals. He is the captain of the team, and a great leader for the new generation of players that are playing their first Eurobasket. This team would be different without him. He has been an inspiration. A true competitor.

There was a lot of back lash in Spain about naturalizing Lorenzo Brown who has no connection to Spain. How did you take this decision?

I have to admit, that I didn’t like the decision at the beginning. We have a lot of Spanish talented players, but then, I realized that Spain needed an elite point guard since players like Rubio, Llull, Alocen are injured and unavailable to play for Spain. Also, as we have seen in the Eurobasket, a lot of countries have had amazing nationalized players over the years. As long as there is a possibility to improve the team, I don’t have a problem with it. Lorenzo Brown has been playing great representing my country and I support him and the team.

Talk a little about huge talent Usman Garuba. He is a player that is slowly starting his way in the NBA. Where do you see his journey going in the next years?

I really like Usman Garuba. He played against my little brother many years ago when he was in Real Madrid, a memory that my little brother will never forget. Usman is a rising star, very young and a lot of potential. I watched him grow as a player in Real Madrid, and I hope he finds his spot in the NBA. He has been very important for team Spain and Scariolo sees him as a leader.

What player from the Spanish team has impressed you most from team Spain at this Euro?

Dario Brizuela. I love his game, and he is making an impact from the bench in this Eurobasket. He is very talented. Spain needs his points.

Spain battle Germany in the semi finals. What kind of game can we await?

It’s going to be a great game of basketball. I think the pressure is on Germany, they have home court advantage, and in my opinion, one of the best teams they have had in the last 15 years. They are the favorites to win this game but even though Spain is not as strong as past years, they should never be underestimated or doubted. I’m really proud of this Spain team and I believe they can upset Germany on Friday, it would be amazing. It’s going to be a very entertaining game and I can’t wait to watch it.

Germany did a super job inside against Greece with Theis and Voigtmann. Where do you see how both countries match up inside and could this game be decided by the guard play of Germany?

Germany are very strong in every position, tough match ups for Spain, so I feel like if Spain wants to win this game we need to do something different on defense. After all these years following Spain and coach Scariolo, I think Spain will use different zones, box and 1, traps… different types of coverages to make Germany uncomfortable but we will see.

Please give your prediction of Germany-Spain?

My prediction is 88-82 for Spain.

Luka Doncic has dominated this tournament. Did he make some ground on Giannis in the best ranking of Euro players or is Giannis still #1 over him?

Luka Doncic will go down as the best player in European history. This guy dominates everywhere he goes. He doesn’t have the gifted athleticism that Giannis has but he still dominates with ease. Pure talent. I love that.

Thanks Alex for the chat.

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