Days after FIBA communicated their suspension imposed on the Panamanian Basketball Federation, and taking into account that it prevents their national teams of playing in international competitions, FIBA Americas has determined that Mexico will replace Panama in the next 2013 FIBA Americas Championship for Men.
FIBA Americas Secretary General, Mr. Alberto Garcia, said the decision was taken merely applying the normal standards. "The countries of Central America and the Caribbean qualify in tournaments in their respective regions, sub-sub zone in the area of Central America (COCABA) and sub-sub zone in the Caribbean (CBC) and then all of them play in the Centrobasket tournament, played in 2012 in Puerto Rico. Given that Panama will not play in the continental event, that position belongs to the top-ranked country immediately in the same sub-sub zone. As Panama and Mexico belong to the same sub-sub zone (COCABA) therefore the spot belongs to Mexico because they held the sixth position in the Centrobasket ".
Mr. Garcia added that "the decision needed to be taken immediately as next February 28 the Draw for the FIBA Americas Championship will happen in Caracas and we had to have the team filling Panama’s spot”.
Mexico returns to the continental event after participating in 2009, also in Puerto Rico, where they held the seventh position. The Mexican Olympic Committee, CONADE authorities and the National Federation have received this news with great joy, despite having expressed their displeasure over what happened to Panama.
The 2013 FIBA Americas Championship will be played this year in Caracas, Venezuela, from August 30 to September 11. The first four teams from this championship will be automatically qualified for the World Cup to be played in Spain in 2014 with 24 countries and will accompany USA, automatically qualified for having achieved the gold medal at the Olympic Games in London.
"We expect the best FIBA Americas Championship in history, highly competitive and where countries will demonstrate once again why they have earned a place in the international arena.", concluded Garcia.