Wednesday, August 22, 2007

FIBA Americas Preview - Part III (USA & The Rest)

In part-I I did mentioned that we have manage to avoid some of the stronger opponents in our group but that doesn’t mean that we have avoided them altogether at all.

From what I’ve learnt, the format for this competition is done in such a way that we would still end up playing teams, who occupy the top four positions from the other group in the second stage. I might be a little bit confusing here but I’m sure as the tournament goes by we’ll have better understanding

In this part we will do a brief analyst or info on all the other team that will compete in this qualifier based on the team that we have for Vegas.


Call them the Dream Team or not, everybody loves to watch them play and I have to admit that. Once again coach Mike KRZYZEWSKI will bring on some of the best and biggest names into the court with a mission of restoring pride of the once upon time untouchables. From LE BRON to ANTHONY the name says it all. On paper they do look as good as tournament winners but isn’t that what they always say. A sure bet for the automatic birth. Or would it be third time victory for us? I rather not say anything at the moment.


At present when writing, it seems that Coach Lula has managed to assemble all his big names for this competition, with exception of VAREJAO and AROUJO (both have contract issues with their club). And very much so, confidence will be looming high after they have won the gold medal at the Pan Am Games and most certainly from the way it looks, this could probably be our biggest threat (apart from USA) for us in the competition. I would not want to be too confidence on this but on paper and I still believe there is a 50-50 chance between them and us.

Puerto Rico

If anyone knows their basketball well, they will tell you not to take this team lightly. Incase you’ve forgotten, Puerto Rico was one of the team to beat the USA at the Athens Olympics Games. At last year World Championship, they only lost to them only just by an 11-point deficit. In fact we’ve also lost to them in the recent Pan Am Games. In Carlos ARROYO they do have a formidable point guard to call the shots while other names worth mentioning are Peter John RAMOS and Daniel SANTIAGO. With a slight advantage in some aspect, we should be able to beat team.


Traditionally a baseball powerhouse, they could be the dark horse of the competition and based on their recent improvement, another team not be taken lightly. Former Houston ROCKETS & Golden State WARRIOR, Oscar TORRES remains the only star and will probably pose the biggest threat to any opponent. Overall we do have more option to win this one. For the record, we did beat them at last year’s World Championship 96-54.


Another team not to be underestimated as there is plenty of potential in the Mexicans to stir some upsets. Much also depends on whether their forward, Denver NUGGET’s Eduardo NAJERA is going to be part of team but there is still equally good players such as Omar QUINTERO, Horacio LLAMAS & Lorenzo MATA to be aware off. However I have confidence that the Mexicans could not do much damage towards us, so I’m pretty sure we could win this one.


Another team that will come to Vegas with confidence in full throttle, especially after their history win against us at the Pan Am Games. Yes, our make shift team (in the absence of DELFINO, SCOLA etc.) were defeated by the Uruguayans in the bronze meal match. It’s hard for me to imagine that it might repeat again but it is good to beware of their two-danger man, Fernando MARTINEZ and Atlanta HAWKS Esteban BATISTA.


For years, the Canadians have relied heavily on the brilliances and inspiration of Steve NASH. There is still no clue yet whether he will make a comeback but there is new star in the maple leaf camp, his name is Samuel DALEMBERT. Born in Haiti, DALEMBERT who plays for the Philadelphia 76ERS, has just receive his citizenship just in time and will be crucial for the Canadians in Vegas. We could face tough resistance in some aspect but overall strength will see us winning this game. That is if, we should play against them.


Another team that has the potential to be the dark horse of the tournament, after all they did finish a creditable sixth place at the recent Pan Am Games. Just for the info, we did loose to them in the last FIBA Americas back in 2005. It will be unwise to underestimate them but I’m confident we will get it right. Among the potential danger man, Michael HICKS

US Virgin Island

Though they were born on the island, Tim DUNCAN is not eligible to play for them (having already represented US on the International stage) and I’m not too sure whether Raja BELL of Phoenix SUNS will answer the call. Probably the team with least amount of quantity in terms name and reputation. They could be just happy to be in Vegas but you’ll never know what’s up in their sleeves.

There you have it, Mundo Albiceleste three-part preview on the 2007 FIBA Americas. The first match will be against Uruguay on the 23rd August.



M. Haubs said...

Impressive win over Uruguay - Prigioni stepped in nicely for Pepe!

John said...

Thanks m.haubs,

Some good news from the FIFA Under-17 World Cup. We're 1-0 up against Spain.

John said...

Now what the hell.... it's 1-1 already.

John said...

Final score 1-1. Little Argentina remain unbeaten and progress towards the next round.

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