President of Jamaica Basketball Association (JaBA), Ajani Williams, is optimistic about the nation's chances of qualifying for the 2014 International Basketball Federation's (FIBA) World Cup in Spain.
Jamaica is drawn in Group A of the championships alongside South American powerhouse Uruguay, Puerto Rico, Canada and Brazil. In Group B are Argentina, Dominican Republic, Paraguay and Venezuela.
"I think that our group is tougher than the other group, but at the end of the day, once you have reached this stage, it is always going to be tough," said Williams.
"However, we feel that any team in this group is beatable, including Brazil and Puerto Rico," he said.
Short of funds
This year's FIBA Americas qualifiers will be held in Caracas, Venezuela, from August 30 to September 11, and will qualify four national teams to the 2014 FIBA World Cup in Spain.
JaBA boss made a call for corporate Jamaica to get on board and support the team because the association is still short of funds to send the players to the championships.
"I think that if our national team was given the resources then we can definitely qualify for the next championships in Spain," Williams said.
"Our players are very committed, they are very talented and our coaching staff is similar to that on show in the NBA (National Basketball Association), but we need the support of everyone to accomplish this goal," Williams stated.
As part of their preparations for the championships, Jamaica will compete in a four-team warm-up tournament from August 9-12 in Canada. They will play against Ukraine, Israel and Canada.
"This will be excellent preparation for the team because you are talking about Canada and they are a top-notch squad that has been to the Olympic Games a couple of times," Williams said.