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14 Gilberto Clavell (PUR)
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Puerto Rico announce 18-player preliminary list for February window

SAN JUAN (FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019) - The Puerto Rico Basketball Federation (FBPR) announced the team’s 18-player preliminary list for the second window of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 Americas Qualifiers.

Puerto Rico's 18-player list fof the February window
Angel Rodriguez Angel Vassallo Mike Rosario Carlos Rivera
Gilberto Clavell Gary Browne Guillermo Diaz Ramon Clemente
Carlos Lopez Gian Clavell Devon Collier Chris Gaston
David Huertas Ricky Sanchez Alexis Colon Emmy Andujar
Jorge Bryan Diaz Juan Rivas

The list has 12 players who already have experience with the national team in the first window held last November. The most prominent player in that first window was Ricky Sanchez who averaged 9.5 points and 4 rebounds with an average efficiency of 16.5 per game. The best scorer was forward Angel Vassallo with an average of 15 points and point guard Angel Rodriguez who finished with 11 points and 5 assists.

From the group of players who played in the first window, Ramon Clemente, Ricky Sanchez, and Jorge Bryan Diaz are in Argentina with Olimpico, Quilmes and Bahia, respectively. David Huertas is also in Argentina with the club Comunicaciones and has been inactive for a week with an ankle injury. The Clavell brothers got contracts abroad after the first window, Gian with the Sakarya BSB club in Turkey and Gilberto is with Aguacateros in Mexico. Playing in Europe, are Ángel Rodríguez with the Maccabi Haifa of Israel and Emmy Andújar who has a contract in Mexico with the Capitanesof Mexico City. Vassallo, Devon Collier and guard Carlos Rivera participated in the first round of the DIRECTV Liga de las Americas for the Leones de Ponce and Sanchez stood out for the Capitanes of Arecibo. Guillermo Díaz was in Argentina for several games and returned to the island to attend to a hip injury.

Coach Eddie Casiano is eager to start training to have a proper preparation before the window. Casiano expects to start this weekend in Puerto Rico and in the middle of the month, the team will move its training to the city of Austin, in the state of Texas, to complete the preparation phase.

"We will begin the practices with an evaluation of the players we will have available and a physical exam by our physiotherapist, José Cruz. After that, we will practice every day before our first game in Monterrey, Mexico," said Casiano, clarifying that he maintains communication with the players.

Of the players remaining to debut is Gary Browne who is active in Israel with the Ironi Nes-Ziona club. Casiano has maintained communication with Browne and has been notified that he is eager to debut.

The Puerto Rican team, which has a 1-1 record, will play against Mexico in Monterrey on Friday, February 23 and against the United States on Monday, February 26 in Santa Cruz, California. Casiano understands that this window is the most important to keep alive the team’s aspirations to qualify for the FIBA ​​Basketball World Cup 2019.

"The game against Mexico is the real game of pressure, I coached in Mexico for six years and the fans are going to add pressure. That's why we should be well prepared, because the environment is a complicated one for the players," added Casiano.

About the United States, which the Puerto Ricans lost by a score of 85-78, Casiano understands that the athletic ability of the Jeff Van Gundy team will give them problems.

"United States has maintained the formula that has given results, they are looking for hybrid players who play multiple positions, I have seen players in the front position defend guards and move their bodyguards to defend our forwards, they have a lot of stature, long arms, they are dominant in the one against one and that complicates our game, we have to take advantage in the rotations and play almost perfect to beat them," Casiano concluded.

In the June-July window of Americas Qualifiers, Puerto Rico will play both games on the islands, on Thursday, June 28 against Cuba and on Sunday, July 1 against Mexico.