Puerto Rico ride unwavering Waters into Second Round

MANILA (Philippines) РSecond Round here we come. Puerto Rico took care of business and secured a spot in the next stage of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 with a 107-89 victory over China in the final game in Group B.Puerto Rico shrugged off their loss to Serbia and had six players score in double figures to advance past the First Round for the second straight World Cup.

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The win also improved Puerto Rico’s record against China to 5-1 all-time, including wins at the 1978, 2006 and 2010 World Cups.¬†Puerto Rico led the entire game and the cushion was 39-31 when the Americas side reeled off an 11-2 surge to grab a 50-33 lead. The cushion was as large as 18 points early in the third quarter before China trimmed the deficit to 9 points at 64-55. But Puerto Rico never wavered and had an answer every time China thought they could make it a game.Tremont Waters was Puerto Rico’s main leader all game and he finished the game as top scorer with 22 points on 9-of-14 shots, including 4-of-8 three-pointers. He added 6 assists, 3 rebounds and 4 steals to earn TCL Player of the Game honors.

Puerto Rico shot 54 percent for the game including hitting 16 three-pointers at a 47 percent clip. They also managed to hold China’s outside game to 37 percent. The Americas side also put together a 16-7 advantage on second chance points.¬†Puerto Rico can now look ahead to the Second Round and games against Dominican Republic and Italy as the Caribbean nation hopes to reach their first top eight since 2002.China, for their part, will move onto the Classification 17-32 and fight to reach the 2024 Olympics or the Olympic Qualifying Tournaments.

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