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MEX - Taking positive steps

3. Gustavo AYON (Mexico).jpg
Gustavo Ayon (MEX). Mexico v Jamaica. Day 9 of the 2013 FIBA Americas in Caracas, Venezuela. 7 September 2013. Second round.

TEPIC (FIBA Basketball World Cup) - There is much to like right now for Mexico coach Sergio Valdeomillos, the Spaniard who steered the country to a FIBA Americas Championship title last year in Venezuela.

His players, just a month away from playing at the FIBA Basketball World Cup in Gran Canaria, will shortly be playing games at the Centrobasket in the city of Tepic in Naharit, Mexico, and crucially, Gustavo Ayon will be in the lineup.

Despite the shoulder operation that put his summer of basketball in doubt, the MVP of the 2013 FIBA Americas Championship now looks to have an excellent chance of making it to Spain.

He played as the Mexicans hammered the Dominican Republic 80-68 in a warm-up game this week.

"It's a national team that is dedicated to work, to be well with colleagues and at the end of this road there should be good results," Ayon said.

The coach says he is hopeful of seeing more improvement.

"We need to start growing but I'm happy after all the friendlies (Mexico has played)," he said.

"We always end up with a good level of defense."

If Mexico win the Centrobasket, which tips off 1 August, their confidence will be soaring.

Fitness issues are plaguing the likes of Jorge Gutierrez and Lorenzo Mata and it remains to be seen what role each will have for Mexico this summer.

Mexico will play in World Cup Group D against Angola, Slovenia, Lithuania, Korea and Australia.