Stars returning for the final games of the Americas Qualifiers
MIAMI (United States) – With everything on the line, most national teams will need to rely on their best players as they head into the sixth and final window of the Americas Qualifiers.
Many of these squads got good news and will be able to count on their stars as they attempt to qualify for the 2023 FIBA World Cup in the remaining two games. Here are some of the highest-profile names that will be back in action after missing the previous window:
Facundo Campazzo - Argentina
This is, without a doubt, the most important and impactful player that any team could field during this window. Campazzo isn’t just their leader on the court, but also a motivational figure for the whole roster. With him on the court, Argentina is 3-1 in these qualifiers and averaged 20.5 points, 7.3 assists, 4.3 rebounds and 2.3 steals in those games, demonstrating his importance on both ends of the court.
Argentina will need that kind of production in their final two home games of Group E, as they'll be facing Canada (10-0) and Dominican Republic (7-3), one of the teams with which they're sharing second place.
Víctor Liz - Dominican Republic
The team's captain couldn't be on the court with his teammates due to injury in the previous window, but the Dominicans were still able to notch a couple of key victories. Now that he's back, head coach Nestor García will have a deeper roster – always a plus as they head into road games in Panama and Argentina. Liz is the squad's offensive leader and sits in second place in Americas Qualifiers' scoring, averaging 17.8 points per game. He also leads the tournament with 2.5 steals per game.
Daniel Amigo - Mexico
The big man has offered guaranteed production for the Mexican squad in the painted area, averaging 13.4 points and 5.7 rebounds. The team missed him in the previous window, especially in their 102-56 loss to Brazil, a team that is extremely tall and physical. Having him back for the matchups against Colombia and Uruguay is a big plus for a country that is favored on paper but that can't afford to make mistakes if they want to clinch their spot in the World Cup.
Heissler Guillent - Venezuela
He's one of the most experienced players on the team and a leader in the locker room. Guillent couldn’t play in the last window due to personal reasons and Venezuela lost back-to-back games for the first time. He's shared the point guard position with fellow veterans like Gregory Vargas and David Cubillán, but his long-range accuracy allowed his country to put away games in multiple occasions. For head coach Fernando Duró it will be a luxury to have him coming off the bench during key matchups against Bahamas and Canada.
Luciano Parodi - Uruguay
“Nano” has always been an important factor for Rubén Magnano's squad, and that spark was sorely missed during the previous window, where Uruguay lost both games and suddenly got in deep trouble. He will be a support for Bruno Fitipaldo, allowing the team to field double point guard lineups. His 8.0 points and 3.5 assists will be crucial for Uruguay as they try to defeat United States and Mexico at home and wait for other results to go their way.