Brazil’s de Souza, Castro Marques and newcomer Dantas set to face the USA in Washington, D.C.

Brazil qualified for the Olympics by winning the 2011 FIBA Americas Championship in Colombia last fall. They beat Argentina 74-33. Starting center Erike de Souza of the Atlanta Dream led them in the final game with 13 points and 16 rebounds. She joined Brazil during last year’s WNBA postseason.

De Souza missed games two and three of the Eastern Conference Finals and game one of the WNBA Finals against the Minnesota Lynx. She returned the United States to suit up for the rest of the tournament but it was not enough as Atlanta lost to the Minnesota Lynx in a sweep. Nevertheless she was proud of the national team’s performance in the Olympic qualifying tournament (see video above).

The Brazilians not only include veterans like de Souza and Iziana Castro Marques but young talented players like 19 year-old Damiris Dantas who was drafted by the Minnesota Lynx this spring. Dantas is not playing for the Lynx this season.

The team has a new coach in Luiz Claudio Tarallo since the FIBA tournament in Colombia. Brazil did not renew the contract of Enio Vecchi.

“We want to use this game as a kind of exercise in pursuit of victory,” said Tarallo via translation from Portugues. “The United States is too strong a team with many Olympics won unbeaten and will be very good for us to face them. I have always worked with the girls the need to seek strength all the time, to win the game we do. This is the very goal we targeting the Olympics.”

When Brazil goes to London it will be their sixth consecutive appearance in the games. However they have not won a medal since 2000 when they took the bronze in Sydney. Adriana Pinto is the only player on this year’s team that played in Sydney. They took home the silver medal in the 1996 Atlanta Games.

Brazil’s Roster

Tassia Carcavalli PG 5’9″ 31/05/1992 São Paulo, Brazil Americana (BRA)
Iziane Castro Marques SF 6’0″ 13/03/1982 Sao Luis (BRA), Brazil Maranhao  (BRA)
Nadia Colhado C 6’4″ 25/02/1989 Marialva , Brazil Santo Andre (BRA)
Karla Costa SG 5’8″ 25/09/1978 Brasília , Brazil Americana (BRA)
Damiris Dantas C 6’4″ 17/11/1992 Sao Paulo, Brazil Minnesota Lynx (USA)
Patricia De Oliveira Ferreira SF 6’0″ 21/03/1979 Brazil Ourinhos Basquete (BRA)
Clarissa  Dos Santos C 6’2″ 10/03/1988 Brazil, Brazil Americana  (BRA)
Silvia  Gustavo C 6’1″ 14/05/1982 Sao Paulo, Brazil Ourinhos Basquete (BRA)
Franciele  Nascimento C 6’3″ 19/10/1987 Parana, Brazil Hondarribia (ESP)
Adriana  Pinto SG 5’7″ 06/12/1978 Sao Paulo, Brazil Basket Parma (ITA)
Joice  Rodrigues PG 5’6″ 06/09/1986 Bauru , Brazil Ourinhos Basquete (BRA)
Erika de Souza C 6’6″ 09/03/1982 Rio de Jeneiro, Brazil Atlanta Dream (USA)
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