Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Dominican Republic NT Begins Quest for Olympics, Charlie Villanueva Misses Cut

John Calipari's Dominican Republic national team will open a two-game exhibition series against Team Ignition tonight at The Bank of Kentucky Center on the campus of Northern Kentucky University.

Team Ignition is a squad of NBA D-League players coached by NBA draft consultant Mark Morefield of the New Orleans Hornets.

No official roster for Team Ignition has been released but the team will include Kenny Hayes and Julian Mavunga from Miami (OH). It is also expected to include former West Virgina players John Flowers and Joe Mazzulla.

The two exhibition games will be tonight and tomorrow at 8:00 p.m. ET.

Calipari has announced his 15-man roster, which does not include NBA big man Charlie Villanueva.

"Charlie was not in good form when we saw him," Calipari told Deportes en la Z. "He was overweight, and unfortunately, we could not slow down the entire team and it was a decision taken collectively.

"Last year, Charlie behaved really well with us and his only problem was his weight.

"An NBA player like him deserves respect and for respect, we have taken this decision.

"I enjoyed coaching him a lot.

"He is a great player."

The roster does include former Louisville stars Francisco Garcia and Edgar Sosa, former Kentucky big man Eloy Vargas, NBA star Al Horford and top 2015 recruit Karl Towns Jr.

At the Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Caracas, Venezuela, the Dominicans will play in Group C against Korea and Russia. That event tips off July 2 and ends on July 8.

Before that, Calipari's team will compete in the FIBA CentroBasket tournament in Puerto Rico.

Dominican Republic NT 15-Man Roster:

- Al Horford
- Jack Michael Martínez
- Francisco García
- Edgar Sosa
- Eulis Báez
- Ronald Ramón
- Juan Coronado
- Manuel Fortuna
- Manuel Guzmán
- Eloy Vargas
- Karl Towns Jr
- James Feldeine
- Josh Asselin
- Gerardo Suero
- Jon Horford


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