San Antonio Spurs’ Tiago Splitter has been named to the final roster for the Brazilian national team and will represent his home country at the FIBA Americas Championship in Argentina.
However, Splitter will be the lone player on the roster with NBA experience. Nugget’s Nene, Raptor’s Leandro Barbosa and Cavaliers’ Anderson Varejao will not suit up for Brazil which means Splitter will be bearing most of the load in the tournament. Not to mention the sole big man for Brazil.
“There are high-level players from great teams from Brazil and Europe,” explained Tiago.
“The job has to be shared and we will all have to do a little bit better.”
Splitter has sat out exhibition games for Brazil due to a thigh injury and muscle spasms. But with the loss of two solid big men – Nene and Varejao – this means Splitter will be getting a lot of attention from opposing teams and taking punishment which hopefully doesn’t add to his injuries.
However, despite a weakened team, Brazilian head coach Ruben Magnano is still optimistic on Brazil’s chances in the tournament.
“I’m really optimistic,” said the Argentina-born coach. “We don’t even think about the players that are missing, we have a great team.”