19 February, 2024
25 February, 2025
15 Howard Sant-roos (CUB)
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What we learned from Window 1 of the AmeriCup Qualifiers

MIAMI (United States) – The first window of the 2025 FIBA AmeriCup Qualifiers showed nothing can be taken for granted. Teams that weren’t favorites on paper pulled off great upsets against continental giants and that left everything open in terms of what’s at stake.

This is what we learned after Window 1 of the Qualifiers:

1. Watch out for Chile

The team coached by Juan Manuel Córdoba, besides the great win against Argentina, proved they’re a squad capable of executing their gameplan. Both games were close, and they were able to go toe-to-toe against a storied opponent. Big man Manuel Suárez (27 points and 10.5 rebounds) was their most consistent player throughout the window, but Sebastián Herrera (14.5 points per game), Felipe Haase (11.0) and Franco Morales (10.5) were also great complements. After that great performance, Chile is on the rise in Group A and both Venezuela and Colombia will have to be ready for the challenge.

2. Argentina lacks depth

For this first window, Argentina called up their stars like Facundo Campazzo, Gabriel Deck, Nicolás Brussino and Leandro Bolmaro and a group of young prospects playing in Europe they were hoping could get some playing time and experience. Out of those, only Juan Fernández (who’d already become a squad regular) and Juan Marcos (13.1 minutes per game) had the most run. Others like Gonzalo Bressan (3.7 minutes), Gonzalo Corbalán (3.1), Juan Bocca (0.9) and Lucas Giovannetti (0.9) barely stepped on the court.

3. Brazil’s future looks promising

Brazil navigated through calm waters in their games against Paraguay in Window 1. It was expected that they wouldn’t face much opposition and they performed accordingly. The best thing for them was that as many as 5 players made their senior debuts and all of them showed interesting flashes. 23-year-old Joao Cardoso averaged 9.5 points, while 24-year-old Guilherme Braga had 6.0 points and 4.0 rebounds and 23-year-old Ruan Miranda added 4.5 points and 4.0 boards. Daniel Ferreira (21-years-old) and Paulo Barbosa (20) only played the second game and contributed 13 and 7 points, respectively.

4. Uruguay finds a formula under their new head coach

Uruguay, who’ve spent years looking for a big result, started these Qualifiers in great form, sweeping a Panamanian squad that usually plays them tough (and beat them at the 2022 AmeriCup Qualifiers). This time around they have Gerardo Jauri at the helm (who began his second national team stint at the Olympic Pre-Qualifying Tournament in Argentina), and they looked solid on both ends of the floor, especially moving the ball (24.5 assists per game). That allowed them to take great shots and make them (42.9 percent from beyond the arc to lead the tournament).

5. Canada can’t rest on their laurels

Against Nicaragua, Canada was able to get by with just 10 players and dominate a team making their debut at the top continental level. But the next couple of opponents, Dominican Republic and Mexico, will be much tougher and they won’t be able to relax. They’ll need all their best players. Dominicans and Mexicans split their series, and both proved they’re capable of beating Canada. A loss can ruin anyone’s plans, since Group C only offers 2 berths to 2025 AmeriCup due to Nicaragua being the host country.

6. Montero is ready to be the Dominican Republic’s offensive engine

The Caribbeans have plenty of great performers like Andrés Feliz, Ángel Delgado and Víctor Liz – plus their NBA players like Karl Anthony Towns, Chris Duarte, Lester Quiñones and Justin Minaya – who have led the team during recent events, but 20-year-old Montero showed he has the demeanor to be their main offensive weapon. During the 2023 World Cup Qualifiers, the point guard made clutch shots against Venezuela and Argentina, and now against Mexico, in the only game he played, he led the squad with 19 points (16 in the second half) and 7 assists.

7. Cuba has explosive potential

In their game against United States in Orlando, Cuba dressed just 7 players but scored 79 points. And while they ended up losing the game big a wide margin, their scoring output was a glimpse of their potential. Later, in the rubber match in Havana, they added 3 more players from overseas and dominated the Americans wire-to-wire. Those players were Pedro Bombino and Marcos Chacón (both playing in Argentina) and Howard Sant-Roos (playing in Spain), and Cuba has other top performers in Europe like Javier Justiz, Karel Guzmán y Yoanki Mencia, who could turn the team into a continental powerhouse if they joined the squad.

8. United States looks more beatable tan ever

It’s become very clear that when the United States doesn’t have their NBA stars, they become a beatable squad, but even with their talented G League players they’ve been able to get the work done at the continental level. This time around, the image they left in Havana was their worst in a long time, looking like an outfit with few strengths and incapable of executing. Head coach Jerome Allen, if he were to continue during the next window, will need to call up more players more players with international experience or risk more trouble against Puerto Rico and Bahamas.