The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic affect the makeup of the senior men’s national basketball team, which is required to carry out several tests against the annoying virus, before participating in the window of the Copa América, which will be held soon in Puerto Rico.
A good part of the players is in different countries in international leagues and to present themselves to the country it has been difficult for them to leave those nations, with the restrictions established by the respective governments.
One case is that of Rigoberto Mendoza, who until the weekend was in Israel.
The president of the Dominican Basketball Federation, Rafael Uribe, said that the team will leave on February 15 on the eight in the morning flight to Puerto Rico, where it will hold a camp. For the moment, before the Copa América “no blank game is included, we have not yet raised that,” he said.
The team will face the Virgin Islands on February 19 and Cuba on February 20.
As a result of the tournament, the best 12 teams will advance to the qualifying windows for the World Cup in the Philippines and also the same number for those who will cross to the Ameri Cup in 2022, where the grand final will be played.
The manager of the senior team, José -Maíta- Mercedes, said that the team is “in the structuring stage, complying with FIBA protocol standards and making connections so that we can have these players on time”, especially because the departure would be on February 15th.
The goal of the team is to finish first in the group. “The importance of this window is to be first in the group, because when you go to the positions you lead a group in the draw for 2022,” says Mercedes.
The Dominican Republic is in first place in Group C (3-1), which it shares with Cuba, the Virgin Islands and Canada.
Pre-Olympic and tests
The America’s Cup window will also serve as a workshop to choose the selection for the Pre-Olympic (June 29 / July 4, 2021) in Serbia. “Sure yes,” said Uribe, about the Copa América. In any case, “for the Pre-Olympic we would have to enter into the same COVID-19 protocol process,” said Maíta.