SAN JUAN (FIBA Americas League) - In the wake of a number of clubs recently deciding not to participate in this year's FIBA Americas League, steps are currently being taken to ensure respective national leagues commit to sending their best representatives in the future, to ensure the competition features the cream of the crop.
This process is being overseen directly by FIBA Americas Secretary General Alberto Garcia, who is embarking on a programme of consultation around various nations, in an attempt to guarantee the strenghening of the continent's premier club competition moving forward.
Some early success has already been achieved after the National Professional Basketball League of Mexico amended their rules to make it a mandatory requirement that the top two teams participate in the 2014 FIBA Americas League.
In weeks to come, Mr Garcia will be holding meetings with no fewer than 12 national league organisations to ensure that when the FIBA Americas club competition committee meets in April to decide the format, dates and the competition system, they can consider the feedback from these consultations.
"The idea of the FIBA Americas League from the beginning was to strengthen national leagues with an international presence," Garcia reiterated.
"This is why it is important to ensure each league sends their best representatives to the FIBA Americas League, because they would be presenting the very best of their countries to the entire continent.
"We want the participation of champions and in some cases, the second-placed teams in the leagues - that is the goal."
He continued: "This would greatly facilitate the growth of basketball at national level in many countries that are not up to par. The national league are universities for players of most countries.
"Guaranteeing the presence of the best teams would enable to organise highly-competitive first round series and it would give us a huge head start in terms of advertising the event at each venue, which would increase assistance by the fans."
"The thing to remember is that we are still a young league - with only six years of existence - that continues adapting to the challenges that it brings in terms of getting it together.
"The important thing is that our goals are the same as the ones we had right from the first edition," added Garcia.
"We want to give an international platform for clubs to demonstrate to the world the high level of basketball we have in America."
The 2013 FIBA Americas League competition continues this weekend in Quito, Ecuador when Group C clubs Sao Jose dos Campos (Brazil), Pioneros de Quintana Roo (Mexico), Capitanes de Arecibo (Puerto Rico) and Club Mavort (Ecuador) all take to the floor in a bid to secure a semi-final berth.