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22 November, 2021
28 February, 2023
33 Kyle Wiltjer (CAN)
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Americas: Who was your country’s second window MVP?

MIAMI (United States) - The second window of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 Qualifiers saw many knock-out performances from familiar faces and some from rising stars. Some teams remained undefeated and others continued to be powerhouses of their groups, while others picked up victories to stay in contention. Here are the qualifiers MVP’s of each country:

Group A

Venezuela achieved important away wins, over Argentina (71-58) and Paraguay (97-48), to remain in first place of Group A with a 4-0 record. Shooter Jhornan Zamora, who was decisive in the game with the Paraguayans, ended his second window with an efficiency of 26, 28 points (5 three-pointers, and 6-8 from mid-range), five rebounds, one assist and two steals.

Carlos Delfino, the 39-year-old forward, once again demonstrated his experience and was key in Argentina's recovery against Panama (65-58), after their loss against Venezuela to finish the window with a 1-1 record (3-1 agg,). His 35 points, 8 of which were three-pointers, were what helped him earn 24 efficiency, the highest record among all Argentine players in this window.

The power forward, Ernesto Oglivie, had a very productive offensive game and led Panama to their first victory in the qualifying windows (1-3). He stood out in the paint against Paraguay (81-59) and Argentina. Even though they lost in their second game, he had a double-double (17 points and 10 rebounds) completing a weekend of 32 points (14-27 FG), 16 rebounds and 36 efficiency.

Paraguayan Edgar Riveros had the best individual performance in the games of his team (0-4). The forward averaged 12.5 points (9-11 FTs) in these windows, and made good contributions on the defensive side with 8 rebounds and 21 efficiency.

Group B

Brazil had shooting guard Vitor Benite as a key figure in their home victories over Uruguay (85-66) and Colombia (119-73) to extend their record to 4-0. He contributed 21 points (5 3’s) against Colombia, in addition to seven assists, four rebounds, four steals and 35 efficiency.

Martin Rojas, a 23-year-old forward, helped Uruguay come out of this window with a 1-1 record (3-1 aggregate record). He was the most even player in the two games, being the leader with 16 points, 13 rebounds and 30 efficiency in the victory over Chile (78-67) and the loss against Brazil.

Chilean Franco Morales had the best individual performance in the games held in Valdivia, leaving an efficiency of 40 in the victory against Colombia (90-76) and their loss against Uruguay. He averaged 19 points per game, 13 rebounds and 10 assists, standing out with 26 points in the last game.

Tony Trocha was the best for Colombia (0-4) in their losses against Chile and Brazil. He finished with 16.5 points, standing out offensively with 50% of his two-point shots (12/24) and 15 rebounds and an efficiency of 27 in his almost 60 minutes played.

Group C

With all his offensive power, Kyle Wiltjer, from Canada, achieved an outstanding performance in Santo Domingo, averaging 19.5 points. The forward had an efficiency of 35, thanks to his 24 points (6 3’s) against the Virgin Islands (94-46) and 15 points in the victory against the Dominican Republic (85-79). He also added 10 rebounds in 24 minutes per game and led his team to the fourth consecutive victory to dominate Group C.

From the Dominican Republic, Andrés Feliz stood out with 25 points (7-9 3’s) in the victory over the Bahamas (90-65). They lost against Canada to end the second window with a 1-1 record (3-1 agg.). The 24-year-old guard came off the bench for both games and contributed six assists, four rebounds, which helped him achieve 39 efficiency.

Bahamian Tavario Miller was very productive offensively with 26 points for his squad in the games against the Virgin Islands (86-74) and the Dominican Republic. The power forward added from the free throw line (6-8), got 14 rebounds, in addition to obtaining 25 efficiency in the team that is third in the standings (1-3).

Shooting guard Xavier Richards, from the Virgin Islands, returned to play after an absence in November. He was one of the team's offensive weapons, scoring 25 points, 11 rebounds, 7 assists and 21 efficiency in losing effort against Bahamas and the Dominican Republic in Santo Domingo.

Group D

Seven-time NBA All-Star Joe Johnson, at 40 years old, once again conquered the boards for the United States, commanding the attack in victories over Puerto Rico (93-76) and Mexico (89-67) for an overall record of 3-1. The small forward averaged 16 points per game and was strong from mid-range (11-14). He also had eight rebounds, dished eight assists, had a 33 efficiency, and was the player with the most minutes on the court (53.61).

Forward Gabriel Girón, led Mexico with 23 points (4 3’s) to get a valuable victory against Cuba (82-72) in the first game, and then contributed another 9 in the game vs. the United States. In 70:42 minutes, he added 18 efficiency, five rebounds and four assists in total to lead his team to a 3-1 overall record.

Puerto Rican Jezreel De Jesus was, with his 21 points, key in the victory of Puerto Rico (2-2) against Cuba (65-62). The point guard attacked the paint against Team USA, and from there he managed to hit 11 of his 21 shots to finish with 23 points.

In Cuba, the figure was the experienced 28-year-old pivot Jasiel Rivero who once again demonstrated his power on both sides of the court, both with Mexico and with Puerto Rico, obtaining 13 points per game (8/17 T2), 13 rebounds and efficiency of 28 before his fans in Havana, where he finished with a 0-2 record at this stage and continues without a victory in the Americas Qualifiers.