Mayagüez, PR: I have not been to a Puerto Rican basketball game in decades. My last visit to a game was in 1995 right after coordinating the Fidel Castro visit to the South Bronx when I came to Puerto Rico the next day to detox from the hoopla and pressures of the dinner. In fact it was to the same arena here in Mayagüez that I came straight from the airport to meet my friend, José “Bebo” Avellanet who I was staying with and who was covering the Mayagüez Indios game.
I could never forget that night as my friend unbeknown to me told the announcers of my visit. He told them that I was the coordinator of that visit which everyone had known of as it had received world news coverage. It was a complete surprise and fear when I heard the announcers announced my name and my deed in the South Bronx dinner during halftime. I was shocked as my friend was nudging me to stand. My fear quickly subsided when I noticed the people around me applauding and giving me their thumbs up and soon i was engulfed by the love of my people in Puerto Rico that contrary to the possible fear of a backlash to the dinner with Castro they gave me a standing ovation. I could never forget that moment that I have also documented in my book titled, KNOCKOUT: Fidel Castro Visits the South Bronx.Therefore to visit the coliseum yesterday again for the second time since that event was a visit long overdue. I entered as a Latino Sports Media reporter, met the owner and was able to sit and watch a basketball game that turned out to be an exciting nail biter as the game was decided by 3 foul throws with only seconds remaining. That was one hell of a way for me to revisit the coliseum and thus I share details from the game as covered by Puerto Rico’s daily, El Nuevo Dia.
Article translated and edited from ENDI.com
Indios, Piratas game a nail biter to the final seconds. (Photo Latino Sports)
With the victory, Mayagüez established itself in fourth place in Division A with a 13-12 record, and avoided a draw with the Atléticos de San Germán, who also won on Sunday and stopped their losing streak in four.
Quebradilla, meanwhile, remains second in the same group, now with a 15-10 record, one game behind the Leones de Ponce (16-9).
Before the outcome in Mayagüez, the local Indians were down 76-74 with 11 seconds left after Jamil Wilson made one of two free throws for the Pirates.
Buycks was the best in the victory with 17 points, apart from contributing four rebounds and eight assists. Kaleb Wesson scored 15 with nine rebounds.
For Quebradillas Wilson led the attack with 20 points and eight rebounds. Gary Browne had 19 with six assists.
Mayagüez Indios pulled off a last second victory with 3 foul throws that won the game 77-75 (Photo Latino Sports)