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Cordoba and Chile bet on the future at Americas U18 Championship

VALDIVIA (FIBA Americas U18) - Chile will face the FIBA Americas U18 Championship with double expectation, as well as being the host of the event that will be held in Valdivia, this will become their first continental experience in the category.

In charge of conducting this process is Argentine Coach Manuel Córdoba, who is confident Chile will make a good run in the tournament.

"With a better preparation than on previous occasions, always being realistic, that this is our first experience on the continental championship of the category. We competed at the U16 Championships in Cancun 2011 and Maldonado 2013, but this event requires a higher level. Our goals as a group is to compete as equals against the best of the Americas, but we do not give up on the dream of qualifying to the 2017 FIBA U19 World Championship," said Manuel Córdoba.

In Chile there are many illusions about this team that mixes some tall players with others who are playing and training in USA’s Universities.

"The illusion of having a good tournament is always there, especially when international achievements are in short supply for Chilean basketball. This group is special because four of the players played at the 2013 FIBA Americas U16 Championship in Maldonado, so they have played together for a long time. The team has two leaders, center Haase and guard Aguirre, who decided to develop their basketball in the United States. Since 2013, Chile has been promoting tall players, like Carvacho (2.06) or Barra (2.10). This group is perhaps not as tall, but the team is hungry and has courage," said the coach.

In the 2016 FIBA Americas U18 Championship that will begin on July 19 at the Coliseo Municipal Antonio Azurmendy, Chile will face in their group the United States, Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands.

"In the previous continental tournament of the U16 category, we were eliminated by Puerto Rico, but clearly we did not have the preparation we had for this event, which we did part of the preparation in Miami, and then toured Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic. We respect Puerto Rican basketball because of the tradition and history and they showed in friendly games they will be a hard team to beat. Most surely we will have to face them for the qualification. In turn, the Virgin Islands has many players being formed in the United States, something to be cautioned about. And playing against the United States will be something historic," said the Argentine coach.

While in the recent South American Championship Chile had a lackluster performance, for which they finished in seventh place, at least they showed the appearance of some young players that strengthen the team in the near future. Maybe some of the U18 players can join these young players to complete a new stage for Chilean basketball.

"The smaller categories should provide players meaningful experiences. For this group of players facing team from the rest of the continent will leave a great teaching. At the South American Championship there were players emerged from the U16 and U17 categories. It won’t be a surprise for some of these players to join the adult national team in the future," said the Argentine coach.

"In the seven years I've been in charge of different Chilean National Teams, I always sensed that success or failure are the result of the task of the coach. A working plan from the National Federation for the development of National Teams is not visualized with clarity. Therefore, it is important to qualify for the FIBA U19 World Championship, as this would ensure this generation will have one more year of work and international competition," concluded Cordoba.