Dominican Republic supremo Uribe thrilled that country will host official games againJune 7th, 2017
SANTO DOMINGO (FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019) -
"You know that our country's national team has not hosted a game in seven years, since 2010," Uribe said.
"But also, it's been 12 years since we last saw an official game between a North American team and a South American team - pre-World Cup 2005 (FIBA AmeriCup 2005). On 27 November, we will host Canada in an official game.
"So I reiterate, it's been 12 years since we last saw an official game against a North American team but next year, we'll have four official games here on our court in a place close to your house."
Remembering how electric the Dominican Republic were at times in Bilbao and Barcelona at the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup, there is plenty to be excited about. The national team, when the wind is in its sails, puts on a very good show.
The Dominicans, whom Uribe confirmed are to be coached by Melvyn Lopez, will also take on the Virgin Islands and the Bahamas in Group D.
A top-three finish would get them to the Second Round and six more games against the top three sides from Group B, which consists of Venezuela, Colombia, Chile and a team still to be announced.
"You no longer have the 35 days to prepare. Now, the new system of competition gives an emphasis on having a strong domestic league so that the players are ready for these windows." Uribe
"What you have to realize is that for a country like ours, just to be considered to host an event, for the official application if you are talking about FIBA Americas it was impossible for us to host events of that magnitude," Uribe said.
"In total in the next two years, we will be able to see the national team play eight times at home."
Uribe has thrown open the possibility that the country's most famous players, Karl-Anthony Towns of Minnesota and Al Horford of Boston, could play for the team in the third and/or fourth windows.
"That's what we all would like to see," he said. "Back in August, we had a nice conversation with Karl and Al. We spoke about the competition.
"Of course there are going to be windows where they cannot play because NBA players will have obligations in November and February but if they are not in the Finals in June/July and in September, they can play.
"We are going to do all that is humanly possible to bring together the best of the best. In terms of effort, we will make the most regardless where a player plays to bring him."
Uribe also highlighted the fact that it will be hugely beneficial for countries to have strong domestic leagues.
"You no longer have the 35 days to prepare (the national team)," he said. "Now, the new system of competition gives an emphasis on having a strong domestic league so that the players are ready for these windows."
Before the start of the World Cup Americas Qualifiers in November, the Dominican Republic will compete in the FIBA AmeriCup 2017 (25 August to 3 September). They will play in Group C against the United States, Panama, and Uruguay in Montevideo.