06 - 13
August 2017
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Bedoya: “Women’s basketball is leveling out and gaining much more importance”

BUENOS AIRES (FIBA Women’s AmeriCup) - Marcelo Bedoya was another one of the basketball stakeholders that wanted to experience first-hand the FIBA Women’s AmeriCup 2017. The Paraguayan was President of his country's Basketball Confederation and is part of FIBA's Central Board since 2014. Bedoya talked about the position he currently holds, this tournament’s impact on the Americas, and Paraguay's great performance that earned the team the qualifying ticket to the Pan American games for the first time in their history.

How did your story in basketball unfold?
My first role was in the South American League Commission during the 90’s. I was later appointed Secretary General of the South American Basketball Association (ABASU, for its Spanish acronym), a position I still hold. I also entered the Executive Committee of FIBA Americas, and later, the FIBA World Legal & Eligibility Committee chose me to be part of the Board. I was elected in Seville, Spain for the same term that President Horacio Muratore was selected —until 2019.

What are the objectives you have in relation to your work?
It's a complicated job, essentially, but with a specific very important aspect: each day learning something new for those of us who live in the Americas. There are four or five Federations in our continent that make a difference: Argentina, United States, Canada, and Brazil, who, despite their latest problems, continue to be a powerhouse. The rest of us are at the same level. We try to bring to the Americas the best technology from a technical and marketing point of view, and above all, support Patrick Baumann and Horacio, who are the team leaders. We want One FIBA to develop the best way possible. It's not easy because we're practically changing the whole structure. Since the assembly in 2014, it began to take shape. Right now, One FIBA is being developed —which consists of a sole FIBA and all its affiliates directly linked.

What is your analysis regarding the current women's basketball moment in general?
Women's basketball is an unfulfilled duty. However, there are colleagues that are extensively working on it. At this AmeriCup, you notice the results and how the women’s category is leveling out. That didn't happen before; the notion that Brazil could lose against Virgin Islands was something quite strange. The competition is leveling out and it's gaining much more importance. Besides, the broadcast system in use reaches everyone. Technical and financial resources are coming in for development. They yet must reach the desired level, but I believe that soon that moment will arrive.

What do you think about Paraguay’s performance in the tournament?
Paraguay is a country that is currently developing. We have a physical hurdle that is —on many occasions— insurmountable. We've never had the height, yet the technical capacity of our players is at its best possible level. Having Paola Ferrari back after such a long time is a plus. I'm enjoying being here and seeing her play. She couldn't play before due to a conflicting schedule. Claudia Aponte —who also played in Spain— and other players that were in US colleges are doing very well. We've gone far with lots of technique, shooting and drive. The Paraguayan Confederation is considering the possibility of nationalizing a big and tall player. I believe that it could allow Paraguay to fight for one of the first four places in South America. We were always close, behind Argentina and Brazil. Unfortunately, we lost against Puerto Rico. If not, I think we could've fought to get into this AmeriCup's semi-finals, which is something unheard of. Nonetheless, it's incredible being in the Americas’ top six. In fact, I commented on social media that we need to understand the importance of what happened during these days in Buenos Aires. This historic for our country. You need to know that in ‘62 we were South American champions thanks to a fantastic team. Paraguay hasn't forgotten them. The current generation has been playing together ever since they were cadets. It’s a joy that they have achieved this result.