The veteran point guard Jose Juan Barea will not hang the shoes on a professional level yet as it will join the Santurce Crabbers for the second stage of the Basketball Champions League of the Americas (BCL), with matches to be played on January 28 and 30 at the Roberto Clemente Coliseum.
René Morales, general manager of the Cangrejeros, confirmed to The new day the 37-year-old mayagüezano’s commitment to the quintet for the continental tournament. The former base of the Dallas Mavericks in the NBA returned to the National Superior Basketball (BSN) this year with Santurce, who was back in the league as an expansion franchise.
After being eliminated against the Capitanes de Arecibo in the quarterfinals, Barea anticipated his retirement from basketball as a player. However, he returned to the field at the end of November with the National Team in the first qualifying window for the 2023 World Cup played in Chihuahua, Mexico.
Morales indicated that Barea will not be available for the December 14 and 15 games in Managua, Nicaragua, as part of the initial phase of the BCL due to personal commitments.
“Yes, stay with us. José is right now with personal matters. He had to interrupt his move from Dallas to Miami for the National Team. He had that delay and well, he will not be with us in the first phase because he will not have time to practice. But the plans are for it to be integrated for the next one. It should be if nothing changes. He continues with his training plan with our coach Fabián Amaya, ”Morales said.
Angel Rodríguez wanted to join
The shipowners’ positions in the first phase will be covered by Ángel Rodríguez, from the Vaqueros de Bayamón; Alex Abreu, from the Cariduros de Fajardo; and the experienced Filiberto Rivera, a member of Santurce.
Highlights the integration of Rodríguez, MVP of the 2021 season of the BSN, who was unable to complete the tournament due to surgery to repair a ligament in the thumb of his right hand.
“Angelito has been training for a long time. They have already released him to train full contact on the court. He preferred to stay in Puerto Rico and be with Bayamón from day one. He was interested in participating with us and how to say no to him. Arrangements were made and it is integrated this week ”, Morales said.
Isaac Sosa (Santurce), Benito Santiago Jr. (Cowboys), Emmanuel Andújar (Cariduros de Fajardo); Devon Collier and Chris Gastón (Capitanes de Arecibo), José “Money” Rodríguez (Atléticos de San Germán), Ramón Clemente (free agent) and reinforcement Davon Jefferson complete the exclusive squad for the BCL.
“Our idea was to make a team with the best native talent and the National Team available. At first, we thought to go without reinforcements but we understood that we had to hire due to the level of competition. So we brought Jefferson, who has experience in Puerto Rico, “said Morales, who does not rule out adding more imports in the march.
“We spoke with each of the BSN teams before signing. It was through them. We didn’t do anything the teams didn’t know about. This suits them because it keeps their players in condition and they do not leave Puerto Rico, so that they have them from the first day of the season and thus have a competitive tournament (2022) from the service ”, he added.
In the group, the presence of forward Ramón Clemente stands out, who comes from playing with the Piratas de Quebradillas and is a free agent. Due to his status, he is a basket holder that Santurce will not hesitate to try to sign for next year.
“When it comes time, we will talk to free agents because for next year’s roster we will have losses and we have to strengthen ourselves because we are an expansion franchise. Right now we have 8 days of practice so we are not going to interrupt that process talking about what it is not. But yes, we have an interest in free agents and we will add the ones we can, ”Morales said.
The santurcino quintet closed the season with imported Thomas Jefferson, Michael Beasley and Donta Smith.
Santurce began practicing last week under coach Larry Ayuso.
The Cangrejeros play Tuesday, December 14, against the Stingers in Edmonton, Canada; and the next day he faces the locals Real Estelí, last year’s finalist and directed by Puerto Rican David Rosario.
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JJ Barea will return with the Cangrejeros for the Basketball Champions League