06:13AM, Thu 28 August 2008

2008 Centrobasket Tournament begins in Chetumal and Cancun:

CANCUN (Centrobasket) – The 2008 Centrobasket Tournament begins today in the cities of Chetumal and Cancun. The best four teams in the tournament will get a berth for the 2009 FIBA Americas Championship.

Group A, to be played in Chetumal, has Mexico, Dominican Republic, US Virgin Islands and El Salvador. On day 1 Mexico plays El Salvador and Dominican Republic takes on USVI.

The Mexicans have Omar Quintero, Anthony Lever and Horacio Llamas as their main players. They also have young players like Lorenzo Mata and Gustavo Ayón who will help this team during the tournament.

Meanwhile the Dominicans look as the favorites with NBA players Francisco Garcia and Al Horford. They also haave veteran Franklyn Western who is one of the best scorers in the region.

US Virgin Islands was one of the surprises in the last tournament where they won Silver after beating Puerto Rico in the semifinal. Some of the players of that team are still here like Jason Edwin, Kevin Sheppard and Cuthbert Victor.

Group B has Cancun as their host city and have Puerto Rico, Cuba, Panama and Costa Rica.

The Puerto Ricans are the other favorite to win the tournament led by Carlos Arroyo and Larry Ayuso who are their main offensive weapons. The team has a lot of depth in their guard positions including NBA player Jose Juan Barea along with Joel Jones, Filiberto Rivera and Javier Mojica. Carmelo Lee and Angel Vassallo will give a lot of offense from the perimeter.

Panama and Cuba will bring renovated teams to the tournament. The Cubans have enjoyed better performances every year and hope to qualify in this tournament with a young team that has played in many competitions together. Meanwhile Panama is the defending champion having Jair Peralta and Jaime Lloreda as their stars.

The two best teams go to the semifinal and automatically qualify for the 2009 FIBA Americas Championship.

The live stats will be on www.fibaamericas.com and live video streaming is available on www.mediasports.tv.

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