CABO ROJO, PR — My wife Blanca is a native of our neighboring town, Mayagüez and like myself, her family migrated to New York when she was six years old. Growing up in New York she was exposed to many of the cities sports franchises and enjoys all of them. However, Blanca had never been to a professional basketball game in Puerto Rico. That changed yesterday when I took her to her first ever basketball game to watch her home team, the Indios (Indians) de Mayagüez Vs. Los Osos (Bears) of Manati (owned by Puerto Rican singer, songwriter, and rapper, Ozuna).
I had attended many basketball games in Puerto Rico and had reported on many of them, but this was the first time I went as a spectator. I never had a favorite team in Puerto Rico’s professional superior basketball league known here as Baloncesto Superior Nacional (BSN). However, since we made our decision to move back to Puerto Rico, we both have been acclimating ourselves ever more to our homeland with every trip we make. Yesterday was our way of officially becoming Mayagüez Indios fans, especially since our town, Cabo Rojo has no professional basketball, or baseball franchise.
I was interested in seeing Blanca’s reaction as this was her first ever basketball game in Puerto Rico and being in her native town of Mayagüez made it more interesting. Blanca loves sports and she quickly got into the excitement of attending her first game. The fact that Puerto Rico basketball is top level makes any game exciting. Of the one hundred and sixty-one countries classified by FIBA, Puerto Rico is classified as #20. Not bad for a small island measuring 100 x 35.
We both enjoyed the game as it was quite competitive. Blanca was quite vocal throughout the game. Watching her home team waste shots and not dominating the defensive rebounds. Blanca became more than a fan, she was a critic yelling out when her team missed a rebound opportunity, or a shot. It did not look good for her first home team game. But with 7:33 remaining to play, Manatí had a double-digit lead and coach, Christian Dalmau called an emergency timeout and the Indios reacted with an 8-0 rally. They eventually took the lead for the first time and never looked back winning the game 99-87.
After the game I decided to write a piece on Blanca’s first experience in a Puerto Rico basketball game. I asked her what her impression was. She said, “I was impressed with what I saw. The basketball arena was comfortable. I enjoyed the game as it was fun and entertaining. I really got into the game; it was exciting. The fact that Mayagüez won made it a great first-time experience.”
Mayagüez improved its mark to 8-10, while the Bears led by Iván Ríos continues in sixth position with a 5-14 record.
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