06 - 20
August 2016
4 Adriana PINTO (Brazil)
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Barbosa sings praises of Adrianinha after announcing latest squad

RIO DE JANEIRO (Rio 2016 Olympics) - Fifteen players will have a chance to have an early audition for spots in Brazil's Olympic squad when the team plays at next month's South American Women's Championship in Venezuela.

Brazil head coach Antonio Barbosa has included a mix of players, some that lack experience and others with plenty of it. Those with impressive performances will enhance their chances of making Barbosa's preliminary squad for the Olympics.

One sure-fire bet to ultimately make the Olympic squad if healthy is Adriana Moises Pinto. The 37-year-old is on the preliminary list of players for Barquisimeto, with the event to be staged 20-26 May.

If Pinto does play in the side that hosts the Summer Games in Rio, 6-20 August, she will become a five-time Olympian. When announcing his squad for next month's tournament, Barbosa sung the praises of a player he first coached in international competition in a youth team in 1996.

The playmaker Adrianinha is indispensable to our team. - Barbosa

As good as she is and as important as she is, Pinto is recovering from an injury and claims she is, therefore, not a 100 percent certainty for Rio.

"If I'm not there, you can be sure I'll be rooting for all that are because above my personal achievement is the dream of seeing women's basketball grow," she said. "I want to see these girls dreaming of playing basketball. That's what I wish, that these Olympic Games bring that moment back to us."

Brazil have hit the heights in women's basketball before. In 1994, they won the FIBA Women's World Championship and two years later, they reached the Final of the Atlanta Olympics before falling to the USA. Their last medal at an Olympics was in 2000 in Sydney, when Pinto was 21.

At the 2014 FIBA Women's World Championship, Brazil lost three of their four games. Their lone victory came against Japan. Pinto had 8 points and 6 assists in that contest.

Brazil preliminary squad for 2016 South American Women's Championship: Adriana Moises Pinto Mafra, Barbara Generoso Honorio, Gilmara Justino, Isabela Ramona Lyra Macedo, Iziane Castro Marques, Jaqueline de Paula Silvestre, Joice Cristina de Souza Rodrigues, Karina da Silva Jacob, Kelly Santos Muller, Nadia Gomes Colhado, Palmira Cristina Marcal, Patricia Teixeira Ribeiro, Soeli Garvao Zakrzeski, Taina Mayara da Paixao and Tatiane Pacheco Nascimento.