Puerto Rico outlasts winless China to advance to World Cup’s 2nd round


Photo: FIBA

Puerto Rico is moving to the second round of the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup Group Phase after a skyrocketing fourth-quarter blitz to top China, 107-89, this Wednesday (Aug. 30), within Manila’s Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The Puerto Ricans led by as many as 17 at the half and still stuck to their significant margins at the third frame until Zhao Rui’s layup and Zhao Jiwei’s triple concluded the quarter, allowing China to retain themselves by trailing just a single-digit deficit, 69-78.

The 12 Magnificos then erupted for 29 final frame points and regained their double-digit odds to shut down the hopes of Team Dragon.

Six players etched 10+ points for Puerto Rico, with Tremont Waters raising up his 22 points and six assists. Ismael Romero added 18 markers and 10 boards.

Rui carried China upon registering 16 points as the Asian club will land at the classification round as the dead-last team of Group I, facing Group A teams of the Philippines and Angola.

Puerto Rico will meanwhile join Serbia in the next round and will collide against both the Dominican Republic and Italy.

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