Portugal’s men’s coach Alcindo Quaresma is playing his cards close to his chest ahead of the 2017 International Federation for Intellectual Impairment Sport (World Intellectual Impairment Sport) World Basketball Championships this week in Loano, Italy.
His team are the bronze medallists from 2015, having beat Australia for bronze at the World Intellectual Impairment Sport Global Games in Ecuador. They are also the 2013 world champions.
With games getting underway in Loano on Tuesday (21 November), Quaresma said his team are relying on a tried-and-tested formula:
“In the training sessions that we have been able to do, the willingness and enthusiasm of the players have been well-known to work in order to be in the best conditions in this next competition. Training hard but with the prospect of participating in a worldwide event is in itself a huge incentive for all participants.”
As well as Australia, Portugal will face Poland, Japan, 2015 silver medallists France and debutants Egypt at the 2017 Worlds. Reigning champions Venezuala have not travelled to Italy, giving the former champions a boost.
“About the Championship, and although we were previously in third place, our expectations are, as they always were, to obtain the best classification as possible, giving our best, as we have always done, and as demonstrated by all our history,” Quaresma said.
He also said that there had been few changes to the team since 2015, except for him being brought in to replace former coach Fausto Pereira.
Quaresma is taking his first major Championships very seriously and has clearly evaluated the competition.
“From what we have observed and the results show, France has been the team that in recent years has shown greater evolution. We do not know how the other teams will be, but we know from their past that Poland and Australia are always opponents to be taken into account. About Japan we are already known for their stance to fight to the end in any match and with any opponent, with all the determination and enthusiasm. Surprise to us, and total ignorance, is in relation to the team of Egypt, given that it is the first time we will meet.”
Competition opens in Loano on Tuesday and runs until 25 November, when the medal matches will be played. All matches will be contested at the Palagarassini stadium.
About World Intellectual Impairment Sport
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