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PUR - Boricuas move forward without Ramos, Ayuso
SAN JOSE (FIBA Basketball World Cup) - Puerto Rico coach Paco Olmos is so impressed by the talent at his disposal that he has left giant center Peter John Ramos out of the preliminary squad for the Centrobasket.
The 2.22m Ramos, a former NBA player with the Washington Wizards, has previously been left out of the senior team only for injury reasons, as was the case at the 2013 FIBA Americas Championship when a knee problem kept him off the court.
That tournament was Olmos' first in charge, and he guided the team into the Final and a runners-up finish.
The Spanish play-caller has left Ramos out of the squad for the Centrobasket to be played in Mexico at the start of August for technical reasons.
"We understand that there are other players that respond better (than Ramos) to the system of play that we want to use," Olmos said.
"We took this decision."
While 38-year-old center Daniel Santiago is not in the Centrobasket squad, he has a good chance of being selected by Puerto Rico for the FIBA Basketball World Cup in Spain, where they will play in Group B against Greece, Croatia, Argentina, Senegal and the Philippines.
Veteran shooting guard Larry Ayuso, meanwhile, appears to be at the end of the road with the national team because he, too, has been left out of the Centrobasket preliminary squad.
One of the most explosive scorers in the history of the national side, Ayuso burst onto the scene with the Boricuas at the 2002 FIBA World Championship in Indianapolis and also played in the famous Puerto Rico team that upset the United States at the 2004 Olympics.
The 37-year-old averaged more than eight points per game in last year's team.
"Ayuso has been the glory for Puerto Rico," Olmos said.
"He is a great professional but we believe in making a generational change.
"We understand that this is the time to give an opportunity to another player in that position."
The biggest name of all for Puerto Rico on the Centrobasket preliminary roster is former NBA champion, Jose Juan Barea.
Puerto Rico preliminary squad for Centrobasket: Jose Juan Barea, Alejandro Carmona, John Holland, David Huertas, Carlos Rivera, Jorge Bryan Diaz, Matthew Lopez, Alexander Galindo, Angel Alamo, Michael Rosario, Ramon Clemente, Devon Collier, Angel Daniel Vasallo, Alexander Franklin, Luis Villafane, Kevin Young, David Cortez, Renaldo Balkman, Isaac Sosa, Javier Mojica, Filiberto Rivera, Andres Torres, Andres Rodriguez and Carlos Lopez.