The national basketball team took another step towards the 2023 FIBA World Cup, this Thursday, by winning 115-70 To the Bahamas at Poledro de Caracas. With a record of 8-3, they will come to the final day with many options to qualify for the World Cup for the fifth time.
Coach Fernando Duro celebrated the performance of his players, who – in addition to their notoriously good defense – showed a solid attack.
“It is a great pleasure for us to meet again and compete. Today we are competing, the score opened in the first half and we continue with the same intensity and alternation.
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He added, “The players did a great job, there was a lot of enthusiasm, and this is what we are looking forward to so that we can continue to compete at the international level.”
The toughest part of Thursday’s commitment, the coach explained, was deciding which players and which proposal the Bahamas would come out with, with no options in the World Cup race. One thing that was clear was that a strong defense was required and at that point the boys did not fail.
“I am happy with the team and the group. A lot of the things we were doing went very well, especially in defence.”
Among others, Fernando Duro took the opportunity to highlight the work of Jose Materan (16 points), Johanner Sifuentes (12) and Edgar “Petari” Martinez (7) as the team’s near future. He insists that Venezuela has a solid base to continue to compete for many more years.
Focus on beating Canada
The victory over the Bahamas was an important step. But a win for Brazil or Canada was essential to celebrate qualification and neither of these groups materialized. Puerto Rico dominated 92-90 in Brazil and Argentina defeated Canada 83-72.
That means Venezuela won’t know where they’re going until Sunday’s game, when they host Canada exactly. Fernando Duro’s men fell to this team 94-56 in a difficult start to the final window, but this result, far from discouraging, is another boost for the Criollos. They want to redeem themselves.
“We always go for more. On Sunday we will play and compete against Canada as we planned before this game (against the Bahamas).”
Even after losing this commitment, Venezuela retains qualification options, but it depends on other outcomes.