20 June 2008

CAPE VERDE : Cape Verde looks forward to Athens

National team of Capre Verde on Monday officially started preparations for FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament. After just couple of practices head coach of national team, Eric Silva 'Rico', shows optimism. He called 15 players to join preparations making balance between those who played last year on FIBA African Championship and the others who arrives from Europe and USA. Cape Verde showed pretty good performance last year on above mentioned FIBA African Championship. The team grabbed fantastic victory in the battle for the bronze medal against Egypt 53-51.

Cape Verde is placed in Group B on FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament and their rivals will be New Zealand and Germany. Eric Silva stated that if Germany come to Athens without NBA Superstar Dirk Nowitzki (211-F-78) his team will have a chance.

'I will make my players aware that they are capable of fighting neck-a-neck with Germany' - said Silva.

Rico continued to talk with same optimism. He said that his team is very competitive and plays with attitude. Cape Verde counts on win against New Zealand as according to Silva it is the team within their reach. He hopes to avoid Greece in the quarterfinals. Namely, Greeks are the hosts and they have very good team thus it will be very hard to play against them. What is also very important Greeks have very supportive fans what is beside their quality another reason why Rico wants to avoid them.

Cape Verde will have to participate on this tournament without one of their players from the last year's African Championship Mario Jorge (190-G/F-77). Some of the players which Silva called to join preparations of Capre Verde NT are: Rodrigo Mascarenhas (197-F-80), Marques Houtman (190-G-79, college: Stonehill), Mario Correia (189-G-78, college: Bryant), Aldevino Lima (203-C-86), Tony Barros (193-F-84), Odair Santos, Jeff Xavier (185-G-85, college: Manhattan), Jorge Gomes, Peter Cipriano (206-F-83, college: Southern), Avery Oliver (193-F-83, college: Indiana, PA), Ivan Almeida (197-F-89), Fidel Mendonca (191-F-84) and Abdulay Faty.

Forward of NBA team Minnesota Timbervolves, Ryan Gomes (201-F-82, college: Providence), was mentioned as a possible reinforcement for Cape Verde but it seems that he has intention to play for USA at the 2012 Olympics.

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