This Friday a new edition of the americup, the tournament that brings together the 12 most important teams on the continent, who will compete for the title until next Sunday, September 11. And one of the teams that will seek to strike in the city of Recife, Brazil, will be the Argentine national team which has as its leader Facundo Campazzo and that in the last hours it underwent a last minute change.
After the resounding victory against the Bahamas for qualification for the 2023 World Cup in Mar del Plata, the Argentine Basketball Confederation dispensed with the services of Che García as coach of the national team. Surrounded by rumors of bad attitudes, which caused fatigue in the team leaders and the leadership, the coach left his position and in his place it was confirmed the arrival of Pablo Prigioni.
The historic base, who knew how to take the reins after Pepe Sánchez, who played in the NBA and was an Olympic medalist, is today a technical assistant in the minnesota timberwolves of the best basketball league in the world and accepted the challenge of leading the team in the most important competition on the continent.
“I had the opportunity to be with the players for much of this process, and I felt that now is the time to accompany them. The job I have in the NBA could have been an impediment, but the total support I had from both the coach and the entire franchise for me to accept the job was decisive. They supported me and give me the flexibility that the position requires.”, expressed the brand new coach at the premiere hours.
The last time the Americup was played -formerly known as the FIBA Americas tournament- was in 2017. On that occasion, the event was played between three countries (Colombia, Uruguay and Argentina) with the particular definition in a final four in the city of Córdoba, which ended with the United States as champion with a team without stars after beating the then team of Sergio Hernandez. Mexico finished in third position and a surprising Virgin Islands was on the verge of the podium.
In what will be the 19th edition of the event, the second in a row that does not qualify for the next World Cup or the Olympic Games, the tournament format comprises three zones (A, B and C) with four teams in each group in the initial phase. The two best from each zone and the two best third parties will access the quarterfinals, where the final phase will begin, with direct elimination until the winner of the trophy is determined. The first stage will be played until Tuesday, September 6 and on Thursday 8 the duels between the best eight will begin.
THE ARGENTINE GROUP
The Americup will be played at the stadium Geraldao of Recife, Brazil, with capacity for 15 thousand spectators. The National Team led by Prigioni will be the protagonist of Group B along with Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and the Dominican Republic.
debut for the Albiceleste will this be Saturday 3 at 1:40 p.m. (Argentine time) against the Virgin Islands. will then play on Sunday 4 against the Puerto Ricans (20.10) and will close the qualifying phase against the Dominicans, on Tuesday 6 at 8:10 p.m.. All with streaming TyC Sports and DirecTV Sports.
The other zones are made up as follows: Brazil, Uruguay, Colombia and Canada (Group A); Y United States, Mexico, Panama and Venezuela make up Group C.
The Argentine squad had a change with respect to the team that played in Mar del Plata against the Bahamas for qualification for next year’s World Cup: Juan Fernández left his place to Máximo Fjellerup. On the other hand, it should be noted that one of the historical figures of recent years, Patricio Garino, was disaffected from the process due to a grade 1 muscle injury to the biceps femoris of his right leg.
The 12 that will play the AmeriCup are: Máximo Fjellerup, Facundo Campazzo, Nicolás Laprovittola, Nicolás Brussino, Carlos Delfino, José Vildoza, Marcos Delía, Gabriel Deck, Juan Pablo Vaulet, Tomás Chapero, Leandro Bolmaro and Tayavek Gallizzi.
“We will try to win the AmeriCup. This group hasn’t won it yet and we know that if we can play good basketball, play smart, anything can happen. The tournament is going to have a high level and that makes it even more dangerous. Our group has a very good level. Our goal is to reach the final and win it, but we have to go step by step”, confessed Campazzo in dialogue with the FIBA Americas website.
“It’s a beautiful feeling to represent your country, it’s what a player wants. When I was young there was Manu Ginóbili, Scola, Prigioni, Chapu (Andrés Nocioni). It was a dream, a fantasy. It is the shirt that is always there, it never changes”he added in relation to what it will be like to represent the selected team again in a tournament of this magnitude.
“You change clubs, cities, countries, but the national team shirt is always there and that is a great pleasure. Then you have the group of players who are your friends. It is a responsibility, a pressure, but I enjoy it. We try to turn that into something positive.”
It will be a scenario in which several teams will fight to keep the title that is at stake in Brazil. One of those who had presented a squad with several NBA players and will now do so with low weights, including that of his coach Nick Nurse, also head coach of the Toronto Raptors, is Canada. The North American team will only have Delano Banton as a player in the best basketball league in the world. The figure of the Oklahoma City Thunder, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, or another who plays basketball in the United States like Kelly Olynyk, will not be in the game.
Puerto Rico, which will be a rival to Argentina, has a strong team led by DT Nelson Colón. In the last FIBA window, the Caribbean beat Brazil.
Precisely, the premises are running to be another of the groups that will seek to celebrate at home. With a historic player like Marcelinho Huertas, added to a renewed squad, the greenyellow It will be one of the teams to beat. To keep an eye on the pivot lucas dinas and the base Didi Louzada. The same will happen with USA, despite the fact that it presents a squad without NBA players. Under the guidance of the coach Alex Jensen (current assistant at Utah Jazz), the Americans will seek to retain the 2017 title with the help of several players with potential who play in Europe or the G-League. One of them is Norris Cole, who was champion with the Miami Heat of LeBron James and Dwyane Wade in 2011.
Mexicowho comes from beating the Brazilians by the qualifying window as a visitor- and Venezuela They will be two other teams that have weapons to complicate any of the teams that will be in Brazil.
Behind the scenes of the forced departure of Che García from the Argentine basketball team
Surprise: Che García stopped being the coach of the Argentine basketball team
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Why he accepted the position and what would happen to his work in the NBA: Pablo Prigioni spoke after being appointed coach of the Argentine basketball team