Towns, Horford and Duarte enhance Dominican Republic's preliminary roster for Window 4
MIAMI (United States) – NBA players Karl-Anthony Towns, Al Horford and Chris Duarte lead the preliminary 25-man roster announced by Dominican Republic as they prepare for Window 4 of the 2023 FIBA World Cup Americas Qualifiers.
Duarte, coming off a successful rookie season with the Indiana Pacers, already gave his word that he would don his country’s colors during the games against Panama (on August 25th at the Palacio de los Deportes in Santo Domingo) and Venezuela (on the road at the Domo Bolivariano in Barquisimeto on the 29th), the first games of the second round in Group E.
Dominican Republic confirm that Chris Duarte is set to make his international debut in the August #FIBAWC Qualifiers 🇩🇴💥— FIBA Basketball World Cup (@FIBAWC) July 26, 2022
🔹 vs Panama 🇵🇦 (25 August)
🔹 vs Venezuela 🇻🇪 (29 August)#WinForAll | #WinForDominicana | @FedombalRD pic.twitter.com/KKZkzPGUkf
In his inaugural season in the NBA, the shooting guard averaged 13.1 points, 4.1 rebounds and 2.1 assists in 55 games while making 37 percent of his three-pointers. His presence will boost the Dominicans on both ends of the floor, as he’s also proven to be solid defensively.
Meanwhile, Towns and Horford could be back, if they solidify their commitments, after years-long absences. Towns, who was an NBA All-Star this past season and led the Minnesota Timberwolves to the playoffs while averaging 24.6 points, 9.8 rebounds and 41 percent from beyond the arc, last played for Dominican Republic at the 2013 FIBA AmeriCup in 2013 in Caracas, Venezuela.
Horford hasn’t played since the 2012 Olympic Qualifiers. The 36-year-old center is coming off a season where he averaged 10.2 points and 7.7 rebounds for the Boston Celtics and reached his first NBA Finals.
Some of the other players named to the preliminary roster by head coach Melvyn López are young pros who recently competed at NBA Summer League, like Lester Quiñones (who just signed a two-way contract with NBA champions Golden State Warriors), Jean Montero (New York Knicks) and Justin Minaya (Charlotte Hornets).
The team will also welcome back most of their key players from the Qualifiers, including team captain Víctor Liz, Eloy Vargas, Andrés Feliz, Ángel Delgado, Sadiel Rojas and Rigoberto Mendoza.
This is the complete 25-man list:
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Dominican Republic advanced to the second round of the Americas Qualifiers with a 4-2 record in Group C. Now, in this next stage, they will compete in Group E against Canada (6-0), Venezuela (5-1), Argentina (5-1), Panama (2-4) and Bahamas (2-4).
Meanwhile, Group F features Brazil (5-1), United States (5-1), Uruguay (4-2), Mexico (4-2), Puerto Rico (3-3) and Colombia (2-4). The top three teams from each group and the best fourth-place team will be the Americas’ representatives at the 2023 FIBA World Cup.