At 39, Marcelinho Huertas will once again have the chance to compete at home in a competition with the Brazilian team. The guard – who played at the 2007 Pan and the 2016 Olympic Games, both in Rio de Janeiro – confirmed that he will defend the country in the Copa América, in September, at the Geraldão gymnasium, in Recife.
– I was lucky to play a Pan in Rio, the Olympics, and now the Copa America to close with a flourish. I hope it will be with the title – said Huertas, celebrating the fact of playing in another great competition in Brazil before trying to qualify for the Paris Olympics, in 2024, when he intends to retire from the Brazilian team.
Marcelinho Huertas is a reference for the new generation of Brazil — Photo: FIBA
Brazil will seek the fifth Copa America championship – and will try to repeat the feat of 1984, when it last won the Brazilian-based tournament, in São Paulo, where the point guard was born. Huertas was in the last two conquests and believes that the support of his compatriots will be a differential.
– We are going to play the Copa America here after many years. It’s a good opportunity to try to lift the mug. I participated in 2005 in Santo Domingo and 2009 in Puerto Rico, we won both editions. It was an incredible experience to win two such international titles. We are going to face very competitive rivals, but the fact of playing at home has to be something that pushes us, is our strength.
Experienced, the former player of the Los Angeles Lakers, of the NBA, will be one of the references of the selection commanded by the coach Gustavo de Conti. And Huertas is optimistic about the combination of young and veterans in the squad.
– We have a young team arriving, experienced players who were not in this window due to injury. I hope we find a balance, a quick connection, for having only these two games (for the Qualifiers, against Mexico, in Puerto Rico and in Jaraguá do Sul) before the Copa América. I hope that when the 2nd (September) arrives, we will be prepared to have a good tournament and fight for the title. We will be at home, we respect the other teams, who will come with strong power, but we owe nothing to anyone, we have already shown that. We’re going to play on equal terms so that, when we get to the knockout stage, we’ll enter 100% because that’s when the bug catches on.
The name of the 39-year-old guard appears in the pre-selected list for the Copa América released this Monday by the Brazilian Basketball Confederation. In addition to Huertas, another experienced name stands out: Raul Neto. Among the highlights of the new generation, appears Yago Matheus. In all, 25 athletes are part of coach Gustavo De Conti’s pre-list. The final call of the athletes who will present for training, on August 14, at Pinheiros, in São Paulo, will be announced in the coming days by the technical committee.
Yago Mateus – Ratio Ulm-ALE
Marcelo Huertas – Tenerife-ESP
Rafael Luz – Andorra-ESP
Elinho Corazza – Sao Paulo
Raul Neto – Cavaliers-USA
Alexey Borges – Minas Tennis Club
Scott Machado – Hapoel Eilat-ISR
Georginho – SESI Franca
Caio Pacheco – Pesaro-ITA
Vitor Benite – Gran Canaria-ESP
Guilherme Deodato – Flamengo
Didi Louzada – Blazers-USA
Reynan – SESI Franca
Guilherme Santos – Warriors-USA
Leonardo Meindl – Urban Transyvalnia-ROM
Gabriel Jaú – Flamengo
Rafael Mineiro – Flamengo
Lucas Dias – SESI Franca
Bruno Caboclo – Celtics E10-USA
Marcio Santos – SESI Franca
Lucas Mariano – SESI Franca
Rafael Hettsheimeir – Flamengo
Tim Soares – Sydney Kings-AUS
Augusto Lima – Unicaja-ESP
Gustavo De Conti – Flamengo
Helinho Garcia and Vitor Galvani – SESI Franca and Corinthians
Frederico Santos – Flamengo