TheColombian Basketball Team is making dreams come true. After four straight losses at the start of the qualifiers for the 2023 World Cup, the team is undefeated after three wins that has them with a chance of qualifying with five games to go.
In the countdown, this Monday's game in Barranquillaagainst the United States (7:40 pm, Directv Sports), the power of the discipline, is presented as the ideal opportunity to strike a blow that reaffirms the desire to qualify for the contest for the first time.
Colombia, an experienced team
On the local side, the combination of the experience of men like Juan Diego Tello and the talent of younger figures like Brian Angola, Andrés Ibargüen and Jaime Echenique himself, who incorporated in this last window, represents the main weapon to achieve a historic victory against the North American team.
“In the team there is a lot of unity right now. After beating Chile, Brazil and Mexico we are much more powerful, we come with more hunger and we feel very proud to wear the Colombian jersey. This opportunity is unique because we have been able to bring together our best pieces,” forward Luis Almanza,
a key player in the recent 93-89 victory over Mexico in Chihuahua, tells EL TIEMPO.
“Today we expect counting on the sixth man, which is the people, who have always supported us in Barranquilla, to make a good presentation against the United States and obtain the result that we all want”, he adds.
Meluk tells him… (Colombia National Team: there are not tons of cracks) Real Madrid, with the fierce Benzema, beat the Spanish Millonarios, increasingly leader, after beating Cortuluá
On the opposite front, the United Statesbrings a class that, as is natural in qualifying, does not include great stars of the NBA. However, his squad does have men who play or have played in the biggest basketball league on the planet. Among them, the point guard David Stockton, son of the legend John Stockton and who has had minutes with the Sacramento Kings and the Utah Jazz.
“Although we are kind of a senior team, our success is explained by the way in which we in the country take these qualifying games seriously. The organization works all year round to unite the squad to be effective at the time of international matches”, Stockton tells this newspaper.
Although the United States starts as the great favorite, it has already shown that it is not unbeatable on this World Cup road. In November, in the same coliseum in which Colombia has just won, they fell 88-97 against Mexico. However, Stockton says, they are not going to give up another surprise.
“Sometimes it is complex to describe what happens in these games. The teams play with a lot of energy and the public also does its thing. Colombia is a difficult team. They have great youth talent and many variants. They play very intense, they never slow down and they are very tough on defense. We have to be ready to counter their energy and go ahead with our game plan to win”, explains the man who currently plays for the Memphis Hustle, of the US G-League.
Colombia, for the feat
In the Colombian team, the feat of beating the United States is not impossible, because now their faith is driven by reality. And that motivation, the players say, no one can take away.
“We all have the dream of going to the World Cup. We know that it is something that is achieved through the process, and the process is paying off right now. Faith is never lost, the one who has faith will always stay focused on his purpose. God is the only one who knows if we are going to be in the World Cup, but we can be, we can be. The important thing is to believe that we can do our best to achieve it, and we believe it”, concludes Luis Almanza.
Andrés Felipe Balaguera Sarmiento
El Tiempo Sports Editor
More news from sports
New details of the alternative uniform of the Colombia Junior National Team wins, breathes and sinks Sports Tolima further Mario Balotelli and his coach, enraged at the end of the match, video