Friday evening (6:30pm UK) in Zaragoza, Spain look to strengthen their grip on Group G in the European region of FIBA World Cup qualifying, against group minnows North Macedonia.
How to live stream Spain v North Macedonia online:
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Where to watch Spain v North Macedonia on TV:
Courtside 1981(with paid subscription; Note: ‘certain content may vary based on your geographic location/may not be available in your geographic location)
With two thirds of the first group stage of qualification for the 2023 FIBA World Cup, to be held next August and September just about in the books, Georgia and Spain have a stranglehold on Group G in Europe, and have both already secured their spots in the second qualifying round.
The Spanish enter play on Friday ‘second’ in the group, behind 3-1 Georgia, by virtue of not yet having played their fourth group game. In reality, though, Spain have dominated, winning all three of their group games thus far, by an average margin of nearly 24 points each. Almost certainly joining them in the next qualifying round will be Ukraine, who’ve won just one of their three group contests. HOWEVER…
While, as planned, the top three from each of these eight group will advance to make up the 24-team second qualifying round, as a result of only three teams playing in Groups B and H following the disqualifications of Russia and Belarus, the results of the teams that do qualify from Groups A and G against the last-placed team in those groups will not be carried over. Thus, with a punched ticket to the next already secure, Spain will have NO reason to exert themselves on Friday. Of course, North Macedonia could technically still overtake Ukraine and earn qualification…
Plus, against a side that’s come up short in all four of these group games, with a 20.3-point average margin of defeat – including a 29-pointer to Spain on November 26, in Skopje – even a ‘going through the motions’ showing from the hosts Friday night at the Pabellon Principe Felipe in Zaragoza ought to be enough to get the job done.
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