The Pueblan camp of the Mexican Basketball Team. Omar Quintero’s team has started the preparation work for the FIBA World Cup at the BUAP Arena with a preliminary roster of 20 players. The list will be shortened to 14 as soon as the last game of the farewell tour that will begin, precisely, in Puebla, and will later take the ’12 Warriors’ to Mérida, Torreón, Ciudad Juárez and Mexico City. And finally, the trip to Asia with the Philippines as the last destination.
The call includes the hard core of the process as well as a battery of prospects that will gain momentum from the next cycle. The explosive veteran-youth mix that Quintero has touted so much since he took office as head coach at the beginning of 2021. There is the ‘old guard’ of the classic ’12 Warriors’: Paul Stoll, Jorge Gutiérrez, Paco Cruz, Orlando Méndez, Gabriel Girón, Héctor Hernández and Israel Gutiérrez; only Girón did not attend the 2014 World Cup in Spain. There are also the remnants of the transition, such as Jonathan Machado, Fabián Jaimes, Jorge Camacho, Josh Ibarra and the injured Daniel Amigo, between cotton wool and for whom Quintero will wait until the last second. And the bearers of young blood: Gael Bonilla, Moisés Andriassi, Iván Montano, Juan Reyna, Esteban Roacho, Víctor Valdés, Raúl Olalde and Juan Pablo Camargo. 20 that will become 14 and then 12.
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The fact is that the new ’12 Warriors’ will come out of these 20. Those who will return Mexico to a Basketball World Cup for the second time in 50 years. There will be no more last minute additions. Any injury in the final roster will be covered by some element present in the pre-call. The doors are not open for Jaime Jáquez, Luke Martínez and Juan Toscano, who had already resigned from the Mexican National Team. The 20 will continue to be concentrated in Puebla until July 15, when they will travel to Mérida to face the second game of the friendly series against Cuba; the first, on July 14, will be in the capital of Puebla.
The tour is the last call for some players. There are a couple of vacancies that Quintero is still not very clear about how to fill. The Sonoran coach has approximately 80% of the World Cup squad already defined, but youngsters like Montano, Reyna and Andriassi added points after their participation in the Central American Games. A surprise is not ruled out on the plane bound for Jordan and Abu Dhabi, to which 14 will board. Only 12 will go to the World Cup.