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Towns ‘90 percent’ committed

Karl-Anthony Towns will be one of three National Basketball Association players seeing action for the Dominican Republic. Photo courtesy of AFP

Unless something happens, Karl-Anthony Towns will see action for the Dominican Republic in the FIBA Basketball World Cup in Manila from 25 August to 10 September.

Dominican Republic Basketball Federation president Rafael Uribe said he has been in constant communication with the seven-foot slotman in which he gave an assurance that he is “90 percent” sure of competing.

A three-time National Basketball Association star, Towns could be the biggest thorn in Gilas Pilipinas’ path as they are bunched in Group A together with Angola and Italy.

He acquired his Dominican citizenship through his late mother, Jacqueline Cruz, and campaigned in the 2012 Centrobasket Tournament in Puerto Rico and the 2013 FIBA Americas in Venezuela.

Uribe said there is a “mutual interest” between them and the Minnesota Timberwolves superstar and he vowed to do everything to make his participation in the prestigious 32-nation event happen.

“There’s a mutual interest (between Towns and the federation), and we exchange messages on the phone every day,” Uribe told the radio show Diamante Deportivo.

In an appearance on The Ringer in March, Towns told teammate Austin Rivers that he is pulling all strings to work out a plan and make it happen.

“This summer, I want to go and play with the Dominican team,” said Towns, who banners Dominican Republic’s 30-man pool released on Thursday (Manila time).

“That would be cool. That would be fire. I’m trying to work that out right now.”

Aside from Towns, also part of the pool were Al Horford of the Boston Celtics and Chris Duarte of the Sacramento Kings.

Horford is a pure Dominican who was born in Puerto Plata before moving to Lansing, Michigan in 2000. His father, Tito Horford, was selected by the second round of the 1988 NBA Draft, making him the first Dominican player to play in the NBA.

Like Horford, Duarte was also born in the coastal city of Puerto Plata before moving to New York to play his last two years of high school basketball.

Also part of the Dominican’s extended roster are playmaker Andres Feliz, rising star Victor Liz, and 6-foot-11 veteran Eloy Vargas as well as Gelvis Solano, Jean Montero, Richard Bautista, Rigoberto Mendoza, LJ Figueroa, Lester Quinones, Juan Suero, Gerardo Suero, Luis Montero, Justin Minaya, Jassel Perez, Angel Delgado, Eloy Vargas, Jonathan Araujo, Juan Guerrero, Antonio Pena, Luis Santos, Joel Soriano, Yaxel Lendenborg, Eddy Polanco, Anyeuri Castillo, Miguel Dicent, Brandone Francis, and Sadiel Rojas.

The Dominicans will get an early test when they battle the Filipinos in the World Cup opener at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan.

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