25 August, 2023
10 September
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Towns, Horford, Duarte lined up in Dominican Republic's impressive extended roster

SANTO DOMINGO (Dominican Republic) - The Federacion Dominicana de Baloncesto (FEBOMBAL) formally presented a list of 30 players as the preliminary roster for the upcoming FIBA Basketball World Cup.

The list is littered with exciting talents from the Dominican Republic’s exhilarating Americas Qualifiers run, and also stars thriving in the NBA.

Among them are Andres Feliz and Eloy Vargas, who played in every game of the Americas Qualifiers, when the Dominican Republic won nine of 12 contests to clinch second place in Group E.

Among those wins was the last game at Argentina in Mar del Plata, where the Dominican Republic came from behind to upset the South American giants. That victory, which clinched a World Cup spot, was powered by rising 20-year-old star Jean Montero. He had 22 points in 20 minutes of play. Montero is not surprisingly on the extended roster.

Montero was a key man in the Americas Qualifiers for the Dominican Republic

"I feel the responsibility of wanting the best for my country and putting our flag on the highest level," said Montero, even before the team had officially qualified for the World Cup and now he’ll be doing that when the team takes the court in Manila.

Also named in the preliminary roster are Karl Anthony Towns, Al Horford, and Chris Duarte, all established NBA players.

Towns is one of the best big men in the NBA, coming off a season in which he averaged 20.8 points, 8.1 rebounds, and 4.8 assists for the Minnesota Timberwolves although injury limited him to 29 regular season games and five play-off games.

The 27-year-old, who last featured for the senior national team at FIBA AmeriCup 2013, declared in March that he wanted to "go and play with the Dominican team," saying that it would "be cool" and "be fire."

Towns last played for the Dominican team in 2013

Respected NBA veteran Horford was not in that 2013 AmeriCup team with Towns. However, both did play at the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament 2012 in Caracas. That was the last time Horford suited up for the Dominican Republic.

Of the trio, Duarte has had the most recent appearance with the national team, suiting up in two games during the fourth window of the Americas Qualifiers when he averaged 15.5 points per contest.

Duarte played in two games in the Americas Qualifiers

The 26-year-old averaged 13.1 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 2.1 assists per game in the 2022-23 NBA campaign as a rookie with the Indiana Pacers. Duarte will play for the Sacramento Kings this coming season.

"I want to be at the World Cup," he had said after his stint in the Americas Qualifiers.

Two other up-and-coming talents in the squad are LJ Figueroa and Lester Quinones, while there are also seasoned veterans Victor Liz and Angel Delgado.

Fans will get a clearer view of what Dominican Republic’s roster will look like during their preparation games schedule, when they face Puerto Rico, Latvia, Spain, and Canada.

From there, they will head on to Manila, Philippines to play in Group A against Angola, Italy, and co-hosts Philippines.