MIES (FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 Qualifiers) - Some familiar faces appeared in arenas during the World Cup Qualifiers. Fans saw stalwarts like Luis Scola of Argentina, France's Boris Diaw, Gabe Norwood of the Philippines and Angola's Eduardo Mingis. These players are always ready to step up and wear the national team shirt.
There was no way Luis Scola was going to miss out on this, playing in his country's first-ever World Cup Qualifier on home soil and in front of more than 10,000 fans. Scola traveled all the way from China, where he plays professionally, to join his national side and coach Sergio Hernandez in La Rioja. Arguably the most dedicated player in national team history, one who first suited up for the senior national team at the FIBA Basketball World Cup in 2002, the 37-year-old continues to get it done. He had 27 points, 11 rebounds and 6 assists in a 96-63 triumph over Paraguay.
Boris Diaw is closing in on history and helping France win important games in the process. That was once again the case as he did his part for Les Bleus, who came from behind in Antwerp to beat Belgium 70-59 and then followed that up with a 84-65 home win over Bosnia and Herzegovina in Rouen. At age 35, Diaw is now just 16 caps shy of France's record number of 259 currently held by Herve Dubuisson. The two-time Olympian and EuroBasket 2013 winner, Diaw has played for his country since January 23, 2002. "I just keep playing as long as I'm helping the team," he said.
Gabe Norwood first put on the Philippines shirt a decade ago and judging from his performances this year for the national team, he's as important as ever. The 32-year-old, who played at the FIBA Asia Cup, had 10 points, 7 rebounds and 4 steals in the Philippines' 77-71 World Cup Qualifiers triumph at Japan. In an ugly 90-83 home victory over Chinese Taipei, Norwood had 6 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals to go with his 5 points.
Eduardo Mingas, Angola
Turn the clock way, way back and you'll catch a glimpse of the high-flying Eduardo Mingas playing basketball for Angola's national team. Despite being 38, he looked as young and spry as ever in World Cup Qualifiers victories over Morocco (62-56), Egypt (68-64) and the Democratic Republic of Congo (73-64). The 1.96m (6ft 5in) forward still has plenty to offer and not just in terms of experience, but talent.