Chances of qualifying for 2014 FIBA World Championships: 80%
Cohen’s Analysis: Earlier this week, Puerto Rico was crowned champion of the 2013 Jenaro “Tuto” Marchand Continental Cup. Jose Juan Barea recorded a game-high 21 points in the final against Argentina as he and former Magic star Carlos Arroyo were named the tournament’s co-MVPs.
For years now Puerto Rico has been one of the more steady and reliable teams in the world because of each player’s commitment and loyalty. In addition to Barea and Arroyo, it features veteran center Daniel Santiago, who briefly played for the Suns in 2002 and with the Bucks from 2003-05, and Renaldo Balkman, who played six years in the NBA for the Knicks and Nuggets before going overseas.
Barring an unforeseen setback, Puerto Rico is likely to qualify for next year’s FIBA World Cup and may outlast the competition to win the FIBA Americas tournament.