22 November, 2021
28 February, 2023
Six countries face glory or agony in wild last day of Americas Qualifiers
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Six countries face glory or agony in wild last day of Americas Qualifiers

MIAMI (United States) – The final matchday of the 2023 FIBA World Cup Americas Qualifiers is here and is set to be a wild one, as six teams will be vying for the region's remaining five spots in the tournament in Philippines, Japan and Indonesia to be played in August and September of this year.

With so much at stake and yet to be determined, all six of Sunday's games will be played simultaneously and just one of them (Panama-Bahamas) won't involve a team still fighting for the qualification.

Canada and United States were the first two countries to punch their tickets to the World Cup, while Group F's Colombia and Uruguay have also been eliminated.

Let's take a look at the standings:

Group E

15/18 games played
All First Round results carry over to Second Round

# Team P W L % Last 5 For Agt +/- FA AA  
1 CAN Canada(1) 11 10 1 90.9   1098 764 334 99.8 69.5 21
2 VEN Venezuela 11 8 3 72.7   870 732 138 79.1 66.5 19
3 DOM Dominican Republic 11 8 3 72.7   906 787 119 82.4 71.5 19
4 ARG Argentina 11 8 3 72.7   869 786 83 79 71.5 19
5 BAH Bahamas 11 3 8 27.3   865 1015 -150 78.6 92.3 14
6 PAN Panama 11 2 9 18.2   734 878 -144 66.7 79.8 13
(1)Qualified for the World Cup


As seen above, Group E squads come into Sunday in much better shape than Group F's teams, as Argentina, Dominican Republic and Venezuela carry 8-3 records while Brazil, Mexico and Puerto Rico sit at 7-4.

That means that any loss from a Group F squad automatically qualifies the trio from Group E.

Out of that trio, Venezuela has arguably the easiest path since they'll be playing at home at Poliedro de Caracas and will be facing a team (Canada) that already did their homework, won't feature their NBA stars and won't even have the carrot of becoming the first team to go undefeated through the tournament after losing to Argentina on Thursday.

That sets the table for the clear-cut marquee game of the night, as Argentina and Dominican Republic face each other in Mar del Plata, knowing that the winner is guaranteed a spot in the World Cup.

The loser still has decent odds of making it, but neither team is thinking that far and that's why Gabriel Deck and Nicolás Laprovíttola made the long journey from Europe and will be available to aid Argentina in their quest.

The game will be a true clash of styles, as the visiting squad will rely heavily on Angel Delgado and Eloy Vargas in the painted area while Argentina will deposit its faith on Laprovíttola and Facundo Campazzo, who had a 13-point, 10-assist double-double against Canada on Thursday.

That's not to say that veterans like Deck, Carlos Delfino and Marcos Delía or Jean Montero, Víctor Liz and Andrés Feliz won't have their say on the matter.

A true dramatic scenario could play out in case all of Brazil, Mexico and Puerto Rico win their Group F games on Sunday.

In such a combination of results, one of Venezuela and Dominican Republic can still qualify despite losing, and which one of them will be determined by point differential, with the South Americans ahead by 19 points heading into Sunday's action.


Group F

15/18 games played
All First Round results carry over to Second Round

# Team P W L % Last 5 For Agt +/- FA AA  
1 USA USA(1) 11 9 2 81.8   990 869 121 90 79 20
2 PUR Puerto Rico 11 7 4 63.6   872 862 10 79.3 78.4 18
3 MEX Mexico 11 7 4 63.6   918 879 39 83.5 79.9 18
4 BRA Brazil 11 7 4 63.6   963 795 168 87.5 72.3 18
5 URU Uruguay 11 5 6 45.5   798 853 -55 72.5 77.5 16
6 COL Colombia 11 3 8 27.3   848 1014 -166 77.1 92.2 14
(1)Qualified for the World Cup


Brazil, Mexico and Puerto Rico go into Sunday sitting 7-4 but with the luxury of knowing that a win sends them straight to the World Cup without having to do any further math.

Mexico and Puerto Rico both sit in fascinating situations, as they both have complicating factors (road games in Uruguay and Colombia, respectively) but also the good fortune of facing countries that have already been eliminated.

Puerto Rico is flying high after upsetting Brazil in Santa Cruz do Sul on a Tremont Waters' buzzer-beater and just need to avoid the potential hungover effects of such a dramatic and situation-shifting victory.

Similarly, Mexico trounced Colombia (113-54) in Medellín and now head to Montevideo ready to finish the job, with veterans Paul Stoll, Israel Gutiérrez, Pako Cruz and Jorge Gutiérrez looking for an encore after being part of the roster that played in the 2014 World Cup in Spain.

And yet, Brazil-United States is arguably the most interesting game of the group.

Gustavo Conti's squad will both play at home and face a team that has already qualified, but their Jekyll and Hyde routine as of late is what injects pure drama into the situation.

Brazil could've clinched their spot in the World Cup on Thursday but lost a nailbiter to Puerto Rico, their second home loss of the Second Round after losing to Mexico in Jaragua do Sul in August of 2022.

They won't lack for talent though, with Marcelinho Huertas, Bruno Cabloco and Yago Santos available, on top of rising stars Gui Santos and Marcio Santos.

However, they'll need to account for former NBA veterans Xavier Moon, Langston Galloway and Reggie Perry, among other threats from Jim Boylen's squad.

But with Puerto Rico and Mexico favored to win their matches, a loss would bring the catastrophic outcome of Brazil failing to qualify to the World Cup for the first in their history.