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Qualifiers' squad as the backbone of Dominican Republic's World Cup team
SANTO DOMINGO (Dominican Republic) - With some notable absences this summer, the Dominican Republic have opted to rely on team chemistry for the upcoming FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 as they announced the names of the last 17 players in training camp.
Head coach Nestor Che Garcia will not have Karl-Anthony Towns and Al Horford at his disposal in China, with the unity of the squad becoming its key asset: eight of the players on the extended squad played took part in a majority of the Americas Qualifiers campaign.
Returning to the national outfit are all three players who played all 12 games in the aforementioned campaign. Victor Liz was the leading scorer of the team with 13.7 points per game, Rigoberto Mendoza averaged 10.7 points while Gelvis Solano was also a steady contributor for the Dominican team that finished 7-5 and advanced from Group F, along with Canada, Venezuela and Brazil.
|Dominican Republic's 17-man roster for FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019|
|Gervis Solano||Edgar Sosa||Ronald Ramon||Adris de Leon|
|Victor Liz||Rigoberto Mendoza||Jean Montero||Juan Miguel Suero|
|Luis David Montero||Dagoberto Pena||Sadiel Rojas||Ronald Roberts Jr.|
|Eulius Baez||Juan Jose Garcia||Eloy Vargas||Jhonatan Araujo|
Only two of the players named - Luis Santos and 16-year-old standout Jean Montero - did not take part in the Qualifiers, when the team was managed by now Melvyn Lopez, who is still on the team but in an assistant role to Garcia.
Most of the players are playing across the Americas, but a number of them bring European experience with Sadiel Rojas (UCAM Murcia), Dagoberto Pena (CB Breogan), Eulius Baez (Manresa) and Juan Jose Garcia (Tau Castello) playing in Spain, and Edgar Sosa (BCM Gravelines) and Ronald Roberts Jr. (Elan Chalon) plying their trade in France.
This will be the nation's third appearance at the world summit, after their debut in 1978 in Manila. Having gone winless in their maiden campaign 41 years ago, Dominican Republic registered wins against New Zealand and Finland to reach the Round of 16 at the 2014 World Cup in Spain. Slovenia ended their dream among the sweet sixteen, beating the Dominicans 71-61 in Barcelona.
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More European juggernauts will stand in Dominican Republic's way in Shenzhen, China. They are set to meet France and Germany there, along with Jordan, in their attempt to win one of the first two spots and advance to the next round.