HAVANA TIMES — Five members of Cuba’s national basketball team deserted the squad early Tuesday morning during a tournament in Puerto Rico, reported the local newspaper El Nuevo Dia.
“We didn’t expect this kind of situation. The Cuban women’s team was here playing in the Centrobasket and nothing happened,” said the head of the International Basketball Federation, Anibal Garcia, who confirmed the news.
The athletes (John Carlo Pineiro, Ismael Romero Fernandez, Leonel Agüero Batista, Yudniel Perez Arango and Enrique Ramos Abad) are currently obtaining the documentation necessary for their visas, according to the president of the Cuban Federation of Basketball, Ruperto Herrera.
The Cuban team intends to continue with seven players in the Centrobasket tournament, which will be held until Sunday and will give four team seats to the upcoming FIBA Americas Championship.