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2005 FIBA Americas Championship.

Aluisio Xavier FERREIRA 'LULA'

Nationality: Brasilian
Date of Birth: 02/01/1951
Place of birth: Sao Paulo
Club Team 2005-06: COC Ribeira Preto (BNL)
Career: Hebraica (Brazil-NLB, 1973-1988), Palmeiras (Brazil-BLN, 1988-94), COC Ribeirao Preto (Brazil-BLN, 2000-06).
International career: Won gold medal at 2005 FIBA Americas Championship.

No one seemed as qualified for the job as “Lula” Ferreira when the Brazilian federation looked for a replacement for Hélio Rubens in 2002. A proven winner on the Brazilian scene (one Brazilian championship and four Paulista league titles), Ferreira has been coaching for 33 years and started at age 22.

Considered a team of great potential since the beginning of the century, Brazil needed someone able to maximize that upside. “Lula” did so by taking the Seleçao to the FIBA Americas championship last year, even though Argentina and the United States didn’t send their best teams to Puerto Rico.

Although it has never missed a FIBA World Championship, Brazil intends to reach new heights this year, thanks to a tremendous new generation. Even if Brazil still relies heavily on three pointers and fast break ball, Ferreira has been able to make the team stronger on defense and more able to recover from slumps during games. Lula’s team will be more steady and therefore more dangerous.