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Greivis Vasquez (VEN) - 2012 FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament

CARACAS (FIBA Americas Championship/FIBA Basketball World Cup) - Venezuela star Greivis Vasquez has admitted defeat in his bid to recover from an ankle operation in time to play at the FIBA Americas Championship.

The explosive NBA guard, traded earlier this summer from the New Orleans Pelicans to the Sacramento Kings, was desperate to play in front of his home-town fans in Caracas for the second consecutive summer but will have to settle for being a fan as the Venezuelans attempt to qualify for the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup in Spain.

"My ankle is much better and Dr (Richard) Ferkel told me that I have his permission to begin training on the pick-and-roll, lateral movements and changes in direction," he said.

"He stressed that I need a gradual recovery to reach my optimum level.

"I would like to play (at the FIBA Americas Championship), it's a desire that I feel in my heart, but at the same time I understand this is the correct decision.

"I am sure that I will be an important player in the future of the national team of Venezuela."

For Venezuela to reach the FIBA Basketball World Cup, they will need to have a top-four finish at the FIBA Americas Championship.

Even without Vasquez, new coach Nestor 'Che' Garcia will have plenty of talent in the side as they go up against Argentina, Mexico, the Dominican Republic and Paraguay in Group B.

Vasquez starred for his country last summer when the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament (OQT) was held in Caracas.


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