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Team (Senegal)
05/08/2014
News
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SEN - Sixteen players left to battle for 12 places for Spain 2014

MALAGA (FIBA Basketball World Cup) - The battle to make Senegal's final roster for the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup has intensified after head coach Cheikh Sarr trimmed his preliminary squad from 22 to just 16 players.

Ten of the 12 players who helped Senegal finish third in last year's AfroBasket remain in the team, which is holding a three-week training camp in Malaga, Spain.

Sarr selected at least three players for each position in order to keep the group motivated and everyone fighting for a place in the final roster.

"This is the best group of players that we could select. It will be tough to cut four more players, but the guys are prepared for my decisions," Sarr told FIBA.com.

For Malick Gadiaga and Ibrahima Mbengue - both named in the original preliminary squad - the World Cup dream ended in Dakar, where the African team began its preparations last month.

"It is not the end of the road for those players who stayed at home. We still have AfroBasket 2015 to play and they might have a chance," said Sarr.

Now that the country's Basketball Organizing Committee has paid the professional players' insurances, it is up to Sarr to put together a game plan for a team that will be playing in FIBA's flagship event for the first time since 2006.

Senegal are in Group B, which will be played in Sevilla, along with Greece, Puerto Rico, the Philippines, Croatia and Argentina.

The South American giants will be without leading player Manu Ginobili, out through injury.

"I am sure Argentina will find a capable player to replace him as they have talented players in the country," said Sarr, adding that "it's disappointing that Manu Ginobili will not be playing in Spain. Surely some of my players were eager to compete against one of the best guards of his generation."

The Senegalese are due to return to Dakar on 25 August before returning to Spain three days later.

During their training camp, Senegal are expected to play a warm-up game against the host nation Spain.

Senegal 16-player squad for FIBA Basketball World Cup: Mamadou Ndoye, Louis Adams, Pape Abdou Badji, Mouhamet Diop, Mouhammad Faye, Maleye Ndoye, El Hadji Malick Ndiaye, Hamady Ndiaye, Saer Sene, Ibrahima Thomas, Xane Dalmeida, Thierno Ibrahima Niang, Maurice Ndour, Djibril Thiam, Gorgui Dieng and Pape Sadiaw Diatta.

FIBA