LAS VEGAS (FIBA Americas Championship 2007) – Puerto Rico finished the tournament like anybody would have predicted; a bronze medal with a win over Brazil in the last game. Now the stakes are higher as they get ready for next summer’s FIBA World Pre-Olympic. Carlos Arroyo with 30 points and 10 assists was the key figure in the last game along Larry Ayuso. Puerto Rico terminó el torneo como nadie lo hubiese imaginado en el comienzo.
Was there a moment in which losing the medal to Brazil crossed your mind?
It was hard at the end. Alex Garcia came in for Brazil and did a lot of positive things for his team. It was difficult for us, because our shots weren’t going in.
Larry Ayuso and you are the two veterans in the team, and who brought them the victory at the end.
Both Larry and me, we both feel a great deal of responsibility every time we played for Puerto Rico and we feel that we need to take this young team step by step. It’s obvious that things aren’t going our way just because we want them to, but we have to show the younger players that you need to have desire, discipline, and commitment to progress.
How would you describe the way you finished the tournament?
We are very proud of this medal, and we’ll see what happens next year. Nos sentimos bien orgullosos de la medalla y el año que viene veremos qué pasa. This medal brings great confidence to us as we try to grab a spot in the Olympic Games. We’ll be playing against experienced and talented teams. Hopefully, we’ll be ready for that.
At first look, the World Pre-Olympic is a bit scary, although not impossible.
Nothing is impossible. We just need to have desire and play as a team, with everyone understading his role, and we’ll have a good chance.
Was Las Vegas a good lection for you?