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With Jorge Gutierrez in limited role, Mexico defeats Cuba to advance to CentroBasket Finals

FIBA Americas

With a minor shoulder injury --and three games in three days-- Jorge Gutierrez played limited minutes Wednesday night as Mexico advanced to the Finals of the FIBA CentroBasket tournament by beating Cuba, 85-70. He played only 14 minutes and attempted only three shots, finishing with no points and two assists. Mexico plays Puerto Rico on Thursday night for the championship. On Tuesday night, Gutierrez led Mexico to a win over Puerto Rico, scoring 24 points.

In an interview, Gutierrez said the Nets have supported his participation in the Central American tournament and the World Cup, which opens August 30. Gutierrez is only of five Nets currently playing for their national team in FIBA competition, the most of any NBA team. As of now, he said, he's focused on winning Thursday.

"At the moment I'm not thinking about that right now (in the next NBA season), what I want is to play well, get ready for the World Cup and finish the Centrobasket," he told Media Tiempo.

Meanwhile, Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto and Gutierrez announced that the FIBA Americas tournament next summer will be held in Monterrey, Mexico.

"Bringing international events helps us because we compete at home, with our people and facilities against the best in the world. This allows us to generate better preparation and a winning mentality when we go abroad, "Gutierrez said. "Our goal is to win," said the NBA player.