Dominican Republic lives a “basketball fever” with its pass to the World Cup

Dominican Republic lives a true "basketball fever"after the recent victory of his team over Argentina, which gave him his third consecutive pass to a World Cup and that will translate into greater financial support for the national team. of what this means "tremendous" Triunfo spoke with EFE Fernando Teruel, for many years coach of the Dominican team and who has to his credit being the first to professionally train Antonio "boy" Sibilio, who shone with the Spanish team, Barcelona and Taugrés Vitoria, as well as Alfred Horford, the first Dominican to play in the US NBA and father of Al Horford, of the Boston Celtics. For Teruel, qualifying for the World Cup will motivate many young people from the Dominican Republic to practice basketball, consolidating an accumulated effort of years and "will stimulate" the business community to give greater financial support to the national team. He added that the victory last Sunday in Mar de Plata (Argentina) It is the result of work in the lower categories, of Dominican players recruited abroad and of the "abundance of talent" national tournaments such as Santo Domingo, Santiago (north of the country) and San Pedro de Macorís (east).

"Without a doubt, after this extraordinary victory over a rival of the level of Argentina, sponsorships will increase because there are many market studies that indicate the advantages of investing in basketball (…) There will even be international companies that will be interested in contributing to the national jacket"Teruel said. For the also physical educator, the qualification for the World Cup has started a "basketball fever" in Dominican Republic because "Many people" begins to see that sport as he sees baseball, with a future "infinite" to forge economic hopes and studies in the United States.

"In the particular case of basketball, this expands to Europeto countries like Spain, where there has already been a respectable presence of Dominicans, among which the recent incorporation of Jean Montero stands out, the versatile and young player, who was one of the heroes of the victory over the Argentines"he added. Montero, 19, scored 22 points in the second half of the match to become a vital piece in the triumph of the squad led by Argentine Néstor "Che" Garcia. The Dominican joined Spanish side Real Betis in two matches earlier this season.

"I think that not only baseball is a country brand, but also basketball, which could not be left behind and now shows it again with its third consecutive ticket to a World Cup (…) Today the whole world is talking about victory from the Dominican Republic, that’s extraordinary", he stressed. In his opinion, Dominican NBA players like Horford, Chris Duarte and Karl-Anthony Towns, whose mother is Dominican, "will interest" for being part of the Dominican team before the team is definitively structured with a view to the World Cup that will be held between August and September in Japan, Indonesia and the Philippines. The three have already uniformed with the tricolor team.

"The (Dominican) Government, the companies, the practice in the minor categories, the work of the Federation (basketball) are promoting an interesting national movement with the holding of tournaments in all the provinces of the country, to which should be added the strengthening of scientific training programs for talented players and the training of coaches and referees"Teruel commented. In fact, according to the EnHogar-2022 survey of the National Statistics Office of the Dominican Republic, basketball has surpassed baseball as the most practiced discipline in the country: 30.2 percent of those interviewed prefer to practice basketball compared to 29, 3 percent who opt for baseball.

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