Dominican comes out as the favorite

The presence of NBA Chris Duarte along with a full house at the Virgilio Travieso Soto, a greater experience in general and a better ranking in the International Basketball Federation are points that favor the Dominican Republic in its confrontation tonight against Panama in the start of the second round of qualifying windows for the 2023 World Cup.

Duarte (6-6, 190 pounds, 1987) comes from being one of the best 10 rookies in the NBA last season with the Indiana Pacers for whom he had 13.1 points per game with 37 percent shooting from three points. Precisely with the triple, one of the manifest weaknesses in the tricolor squad, the native of Puerto Plata will help a lot.

The Dominican Basketball Federation (Fedombal) has announced that all 8,337 seats have been sold, so it is expected that the momentum of the local public will help those trained by Melvin López to achieve victory.

The bulk of the main players who have seen action in the first three windows return with the team, led by captain Víctor Liz (6-3, 1986, 19.3 ppg, 2.3 aspj, 2.3 brpj) although below in triples (29.3 %).

Ángel Delgado (6-10, 1994, 12 ppg, 12.5 rpg, 3.3 apg, 66% from the field) hopes to be recovered from a problem in one of his legs to form “twin towers” with Eloy Vargas (6-11, 1988, 10.8 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 53.2% from the field) in what seems to be another advantage for the Quisqueyans.

Andrés Feliz (6-2, 1997, 9.8 ppg, 2.7 apg, with 77% from the field, 60% in triples) emerges as the starting point guard in the absence of Gelvis Solano –contract with the private Superliga in Venezuela-. Jean Montero (6-2, 2003), who knocks on the doors of the NBA, and the emerging Richard Bautista (6-0, 1997) will support him.

Sadiel Rojas (6-5, 1989) continues to fill the invisible side of the sport with his intangible contributions of leadership, dedication, defense and determination as a nationalized national. Rigoberto Mendoza (6-3, 1992, 9.5 ppg, 55% from the field, 61% from triples, 100% from free) is guaranteed as the first substitution.

The contributions of Ángel Núñez (6-8, 1991) as a fast forward and false four are still awaited. Two who will be under scrutiny are Luis Santos (6-8, 1994) and Jeromy Rodríguez (6-7, 1996), who will have to wear the tennis shoes of Jhonathan Araujo and Juan Guerrero -two other exiles in Venezuela- in the restricted area as surrogate tall men.

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The Dominican Republic advanced with victories against the Bahamas and losses against Canada in the first phase that left the Virgin Islands behind. On Monday he travels to face Venezuela, a team that together with Argentina he receives in November before closing his activity with trips to Panama and Argentina in February.

On the Panamanian side, his “figure” is the Puerto Rican coach Flor Meléndez, one who knows it all and one more, and who is the “home club” in the country. Panama ranks as number 49 in the FIBA ​​ranking due to the number 20 exhibited by the Dominican Republic.

Yosimar Ayarza, Isaac Machore, José Montenegro, Trevor Gaskins, Akil Mitchell, Gil Atencio, Edward Steven López, Ricardo Lindo, Jesús Lombardo, Jhivvan Jackson, Jonathan Salazar, Eric Romero and Alejandro Grant make up the Panamanian team that passed with their two wins over Paraguay, although it succumbed twice to Venezuela and Argentina.

Nationalized guard Gaskins (6-4, 1989, 12.3 ppg, 53% from the field), forward Mitchell (6-9, 1992, 9.5 ppg, 5.0 rpg) and shooting guard Romero (6-3, 1999, 9.0 ppg, 7.5 rpj) have stood out in the matches of the previous phase. The names of power forward Ernesto Oglivie (16.0 ppg) and point guard Eugenio Luzcando (9.5 ppg) are missing, but Jackson 6-0, 1998), grandson of the coach and son of Leroy Jackson, who shone in the NCAA with the University of Texas at San Antonio.



Melvin López is the main technician and has David Díaz, Daniel Seaone, Jonathan Matos and Ruddy Martínez as assistants. Santiago Alfaro is the physical trainer and Eliezer Luvin, the doctor.


This game, the one on Monday in Venezuela and the rest of the Dominican team in the FIBA ​​windows will be broadcast for the country by CDN Deportes.

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