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Venezuela Fans
Nigeria v Venezuela. 2012 FIBA World Olympic Qualifying Tournament for Men, Preliminary. 2 July 2012
26/03/2013

CARACAS (FIBA Americas Championship/FIBA Basketball World Cup) - Venezuela are going to spend a substantial amount of time in the United States in the build-up to the FIBA Americas Championship in order to avoid distractions at home.

The President of the country's basketball federation, Carmelo Cortez, says the likely location for the team's training camp is the University of Maryland, where national team star Greivis Vasquez played American college basketball and had his jersey retired.

The idea is to have the first phase of training in Venezuela 1-19 July, and then to hold workouts in America from 20 July to 15 August.

"Normally, players tend to get distracted in Venezuela," Cortez said.

"It makes sense because they have family nearby and after spending several months traveling with their teams they want to be with their loved ones.

"The wives, parents, siblings call them and obviously they are not able to focus.

"The idea is to avoid that so they have the peace of mind you need."

As for the recently appointed coach, Nestor "Che" Garcia, Cortez has revealed to the Venezuelan media that he still needs to meet the Argentinian "to finish sealing the contract" although that is thought to be more of a formality.

"We must review the terms and make clear what the commitments, obligations, rights and duties are. This is so that there are no problems and everything is clear.

"The second point is that we will try planning and finalizing the roster."

Garcia is right now in Argentina leading Boca Juniors in the play-offs, and Cortez doesn't want to distract him.

The President doesn't expect veteran sharpshooter Oscar Torres to reconsider his decision to retire from the national team.

Torres has been a long-time player in the squad and featured at last year's FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament.

At 36, he has decided to call it a day with the national team.

"Oscar has been one of the most disciplined and respected players to have been selected in recent years, and we respect his decision," Cortez said.

"We've talked and he has also reiterated his decision to the press.

"It is a decision and, apparently, there is no turning back."

Cortez added, however, that "if he changes his mind, the doors are open."

Venezuela are hosting the FIBA Americas Championship and looking to claim a top four finish to seal a place at the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup.

Twenty-seven players are being considered for national team duty. They are: Greivis Vasquez, David Cubillan, Gregory Vargas, Jesus Centeno, Carlos Cedeno, Heissler Guillent, Jhornan Zamora, John Cox, Douglas Chiquito, Rafael Perez, Dwight Lewis, Jose Vargas, Anthony Perez, Michael Carrera, Francisco Centeno, Lenin Lopez, Kevin Caraballo, Michael Flores, Windi Graterol, Hector Romero, Nestor Colmenares, Axiers Sucre, Tulio Cobos, Jesus Urbina, Juan Coronado, Luis Bethelmy and Gregory Echenique.

FIBA

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