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World Championship team profile: Brazil
August 18, 2010
Fresh off the gold medal won last summer at the FIBA Americas championships in Puerto Rico, Brazil is eager to take the next step forward at the 2010 FIBA World Championships in Turkey. With talent in the paint and on the perimeter, head coach Ruben Magnano has plenty of options in putting together a rotation that could bring Brazil to the medal round for the first time in more than three decades. A world basketball powerhouse in the middle of the last century, Brazil is a two-time winner and six-time medallist at the World Championships, though it has not celebrated since 1978, when a young Oscar Schmidt led the team to a bronze medal. A new generation of stars will try to make their country proud in Turkey.
Joao Paulo Batista
Brazil won just one game four years ago at the last World Championships in Japan, but the experience from those games will only help as Brazil aims high. The South American champs boast a powerful frontline headlined by former All-Euroleague center Tiago Splitter, former Euroleague champion Anderson Varejao and big man Nene. That trio presents a combination of power, speed, skill and experience that few teams could match. In the backcourt, Caja Laboral playmaker Marcelinho Huertas, Leandro Barbosa and former Maccabi Tel Aviv man Alex Garcia bring excellent court vision, speed and defensive hustle to the table. At the small forward position, Marcus Vinicius and veterans Guilherme Giovannoni and Marcelinho Machado – all players with European experience – round out the roster. Brazil is a threat not just because of its talent and skills, but its dedication on both sides of the floor. Its great defense anchored by the big men could be what decides several games and perhaps the key to how high Brazil can climb in Turkey.
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World Championships finals: September 12
World Championships semifinals: September 11
2010 FIBA World Championships: August 28 to September 12, Turkey
World Championships quarterfinals: September 9
World Championships quarterfinals: September 8
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