KAT & The Dominicans

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  • Post category:The Huddle

As the Dominican Republic prepares for the Basketball World Cup next month, "Los Quisqueyanos" have high hopes of advancing from their group, following an impressive performance during the FIBA Americas qualifiers, during which they finished 9-3, tying the United States for the best record in the final phase.

Despite having never placed in the tournament, the Dominicans are confident, with a roster featuring players from the NBA and ACB, competing in a group with Italy, 10th in FIBA’s rankings; co-host, the Philippines, 40th, and Angola, 41st.

Dominican KAT

The squad's headliner and key contributor is Karl Anthony Towns, who has represented the national team since he was 16 and will provide a level of skill, toughness, and quality that would have been paralleled if fellow NBA players Al Horford and Chris Duarte had remained committed.

Specifically with Duarte no longer involved, Lester Quinones, the 6'4 guard and former University of Memphis Tiger, who shined at this year’s Summer League in Las Vegas is expected to bring consistent scoring and defensive tenacity to the team's small forward position.

If Quinones can replicate his early performances for the Golden State Warriors as a two-play player, the Dominican Republic will have a dynamic inside/out threat to keep opposing teams honest when defending Anthony Towns.

Style of Play

Defensively, the Dominican Republic is known for its full-court press. Their guards are strong and athletic, which allows them to create turnovers and limit opponents' scoring.
The unique approach on the defense end ultimately drives their offensive production, with much of their scoring coming off of turnovers/fast break opportunities.
When the games begin, expect a level of intensity from their starting guard (1 or 2), Andres Feliz, who played at the University of Illinois and recently resigned with Badalona of the ACB. This dude is tough with a lot of energy and will make things very difficult for opposing backcourts throughout the competition.

Unique Path

The objective for the Dominicans is simply to advance from their group, against opponents that all have a unique set of characteristics and elements of competitive advantage:

For KAT & The Dominicans, the first game against the Philippines critical to gain early momentum in the group and reduce pressure against Italy in game two. If they can start strong, they have a great chance to progress.