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Mission accomplished! Puerto Rico defeats Colombia and qualifies for the FIBA World Cup 2023

Image Credit: FIBA/Puerto Rico
(This article was first published in Spanish in Puerto Rico’s daily, It was translated and edited in English for our loyal readers).

Puerto Rico closed the decisive window with two victories in the same number of outings to ensure their place in the World Cup that starts on August 25.

The Men’s National Basketball Team punched their ticket to the FIBA World Cup 2023 yesterday, after beating Colombia 87-80 in the last game of the qualifying windows.

With the victory, Puerto Rico finished with an 8-4 mark and was left with one of the spaces granted by Group F. The National Team had just achieved a dramatic victory on Thursday in Brazil by 92-90 thanks to a basket by Tremont Waters when the buzzer sounds.

The Puerto Ricans, led by Nelson Col贸n, won both of their starts in this decisive window, and both on the road.

Puerto Rico celebrates their victory over Colombia to advance to the FIBA World Tournament. (Photo courtesy

Against Colombia, it was a physical game from the beginning. The Puerto Ricans took the first quarter 25-20.

Gian Clavell led the offense in that first set with eight points.

For the second half, the Puerto Ricans had an advantage of up to 12 points, but the Colombians remained in the game, in such a way that Puerto Rico finished the first half with only a five point advantage, 41-36.

For the third half, Colombia began with an 8-0 run to go up by three, 44-41. After this, the Puerto Ricans and the Colombians kept exchanging advantages, while Puerto Rico could not capitalize due to their turnovers. That intense third half ended a tie, 60-60.

For the last 10 minutes, the National Team protected the ball much better. The Puerto Ricans began with a 6-0 run to take advantage and never looked back. In that fourth quarter, George Conditt emerged, who did everything on the field to keep Puerto Rico in front and win by seven points.

Puerto Rico had four players in double digits, in the figures of Jordan Howard with 18, Gian Clavell with 14, Tremont Waters with 12 and Chris Ortiz with 11. George Conditt and Ismael Romero contributed nine each.

For Colombia, Braian Angola stood out, with 20 units, followed by Andr茅s Ibarg眉en and Juan Tello with 17 each. Michaell Jackson and Romario Roque put 10 more.

In addition to Puerto Rico, Group F included the United States (9-3), Mexico (8-4) and Brazil (8-4). The Mexicans and Brazilians also entered the action on Sunday forced to win to have a chance to qualify, and they did. Mexico beat Uruguay, 82-69, and Brazil beat the United States, 83-76.

Uruguay (5-7) and Colombia (3-9) were eliminated in Group E.

Argentina Eliminated

In Group E, the Dominican Republic defeated Argentina at home, 79-75, to strike out their World Cup ticket. The result left Argentina, the current runner-up in the world, out of the World Cup. In Group E, Canada (11-1), the Dominican Republic (9-3) and Venezuela (8-4) classified. Argentina (8-4) was left out after losing their matches against the Dominicans and the points difference against Venezuela.

It is the first time since 1982 that Argentina will not play a basketball World Cup.

The 2023 World Cup will be held from August 25 to September 10 and will have three venues: the Philippines, Japan, and Indonesia.

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