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Mexico's basketball team thrives as its soccer team struggles

by Take Two®

Mexican basketball team player Lorenzo Mata celebrates after defeating Puerto Rico and winning the FIBA Championship game held in Caracas on September 11, 2013. Argentina, Mexico, Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic are the four teams which qualified for the Spain 2014 Basketball World Cup. LEO RAMIREZ/AFP/Getty Images

The Mexican national soccer team El Tri is still alive in their quest to qualify for the World Cup.

A loss Tuesday to Costa Rica would have eliminated Mexico, but a U.S. come-from-behind win over Panama kept Mexico in the running and put them in a do or die against New Zealand next month.

Mexico has made every World Cup since 1990 but right now, the team is a bit of a mess. Their coach was fired in September and now Jorge Vergara, the influential owner of the most popular club team in Mexico, Chivas, came out demanding another coaching change.

If they could only be as successful as the Mexican national basketball team.

The team is coming off an unlikely championship run at the FIBA Americas in Venezuela, beating out traditional regional power houses such as Argentina and Brazil.

The usually unwavering Mexican futbol faith is shaky, and now, of all sports, basketball might be Mexico's best hope for international success.

Marc Stein from ESPN.com has written about this and joins us now.

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