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Uruguay get Borsellino back but lose Calfani
MONTEVIDEO (FIBA AmeriCup 2017) - The basketball gods giveth, and they taketh away. Uruguay know that only too well.
While an in-form Nicolas Borsellino has returned to the squad ahead of the FIBA AmeriCup in Montevideo, Mathias Calfani will not play because of a knee problem that needs to be resolved once and for all.
His absence is an important one. Calfani averaged more than 10 points and almost 7 rebounds per game at FIBA AmeriCup two years ago in Mexico City. He also swatted six shots in the tournament.
The presence of 31-year-old center Borsellino, however, is a boost.
"I am very happy," said Borsellino, who was not selected for the South American Championship last year by coach Marco Signorelli. "This is the most beautiful thing that a sportsman can aspire to. I am also proud to instill in the youngest the sense of belonging that this shirt has."
In an interview with basketcaliente.com, Borsellino, whose first big tournament with his national team was the FIBA AmeriCup 2005, said he had no hard feelings about being passed over last year, even though he had postponed his honeymoon so he could play for Uruguay.
"The sport is like that," he said. "I will always want the best for our national team."
Borsellino (No. 14) has played against legends like Luis Scola of Argentina
Calfani is sad about not taking part but he intends to return to the team for the FIBA Basketball World Cup American Qualifiers.
"I talked to Signorelli and explained my situation and he understood," he said. "I feel sorry for losing the AmeriCup because I really wanted to play for the national team as always. I feel that I have a lot to contribute and besides, we are going to play in our country, but if I do not stop now, the injury can become serious and so I don't hesitate.
"I try to think positive, to make the recovery as best as possible and be back soon in order to arrive in condition to defend the celeste (light blue) at the starting of the World Cup Qualifiers."
Uruguay will host Group C in Montevideo and go up against the Dominican Republic, Panama and the United States.