Four Cuban Basketball Players Attempting to Defect

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MADRID (AP) - Four members of the Cuban national basketball team have requested political asylum in Spain.

The Cuban team played a friendly against Spain on Friday in the Canary Islands, and those four players failed to show up Monday when the Cubans were scheduled to leave, according to Antonio Ortega, an official with the Interior Ministry office in the islands.

The players are Georvis Elias Sayus, Grismay Paumier, Taylor Garcia and Geofry Silvestre.

On Wednesday the players made a preliminary request for asylum and they now have 30 days to formalize it, the official said. They remain in Las Palmas on the island of Gran Canaria.

The decision on whether to grant asylum is up to the Interior Ministry in Madrid, Ortega said.