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Feb 21, 2019

The National Basketball Team is Ready to Take on Antigua, Cuba and Bahamas

The national teams from Antigua and Barbuda, Cuba and the Bahamas are in Belize for the qualifying round of the FIBA World Cup games that is taking place at the Civic Centre this weekend. The three-day international match-up begins on Friday and will determine two of the top sixteen placements, taking them one step closer to the championship games. If Belize is to secure a win, it is the furthest the national team would make it in world basketball.  The team has been selected and Coach Milton Palacio has been working closely with the athletes in efforts to realize that goal. Earlier today, there was an official unveiling of the team at the Biltmore Plaza.

 

Julian Murillo

Julian Murillo, Secretary General, B.B.F.

“We started this journey as a part of the FIBA World Cup Tournament last year in July and we were pleased to advance after achieving a silver medal to this next round now. This round is a second round, which enables us, if we are successful to reach the final round of sixteen in the FIBA World Cup Tournament for the Americas.”

 

Milton Palacio

Milton Palacio, Coach, Belize National Team

“I think we are very excited for this weekend….it’s an opportunity to go top sixteen in FIBA Americas. Last night I took a look at the list and its hell of a list to be on if we could qualify.”

 

Jihad Wright

Jihad Wright, Athlete

“It’s just an honour to play as they said. Everybody here is confident in what we can do; confident in our coaching staff, confident in Milt and we just believe that we can move on so we gonna come and play our best, play hard.”

 

Tyrone Hall, Athlete

“We are very confident with the coaching staff, with the players that we have so we are just gonna go out there and play hard and try to advance.”

 

Edgar Mitchell

Edgar Mitchell, Athlete

“Grateful for the opportunity to represent my country. I am begging to the Belizean public to come out and support us because I think that will propel us to the next level with our fan support.”

 

Devin Daly

Devin Daly, Athlete

“I think the last tournament, there was a lot of things that the team could have done better—me included. But a part of the competition is, and why I love the game of basketball is, that you always get another chance to right your wrongs. Yeah a lot of people say oh we went two for twenty-three in the second game, but a lot of people forget that key guys hit some big three pointers in that first game to get us that win.”

 

Paul Thompson

Paul Thompson, President, B.B.F.

“If you take a look at the players that we have today, all the players are members of the National Elite Basketball League except for one, who is Kirk Smith. So I believe that this tournament is good to gauge, to judge, where we are in this region and so this team is mostly home grown. This is a good opportunity to see whether our players are investing enough time, energy and resources in what they are doing. If it is that we need to work harder, then we’ll do that. So the players, I believe have a stake in this and from what Coach Palacio has down, he’s selected the best players that we have and we will see whether or not that investment that they’ve made is there to showcase.”

 

Team Belize plays every night at eight-thirty. Friday night is against Antigua and Barbuda; on Saturday they take on Cuba and on Sunday, the Bahamas. Team Belize has to win two games to advance.

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