SYDNEY (Australia) – Puerto Rico won their first game at the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup 2022 with a resounding win over Bosnia and Herzegovina, 82-58.
They started out on fire with 31 points in the first quarter, the most ever by the team in a Women’s World Cup. They ended with the most three-pointers made by Puerto Rico as well with 7 in total.
It was definitely a historic game not only for Puerto Rico, but also for their star veteran Arella Guirantes who recorded 26 points, 9 rebounds, and 8 assists in the competition opener. The performance was good enough for an EFF rating of 36, a feat which only one player in the two recent World Cups has achieved.
This was also the first time since 1994 when assists and rebounds were recorded in the Women’s World Cup that a player recorded at least 25 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 assists in a game. The last player to record a triple double at the World Cup was Erika Dobrovicova (24-10-10) in 1994 during Slovak Republic vs Spain.
The Puerto Rican team are in its second Women’s World Cup in a row and are battling in Group A.
The team has begun this challenge during a tumultuous time. They will be anxious for to keep the momentum of the first game going, but part of their heart and spirit will go out to their island, which has recently been hit by Hurricane Fiona.
The storm moved strongly through the Caribbean region with its heavy rains which led to floods and generated destruction to electrical services across the country leaving most without power.
The players from the national team sent a message of encouragement to their nation from Sydney.
“Here (in Sydney) we are keeping in touch. I hope all is well, you are always in our prayers. We send you a big hug and are with you always,” said the captain of the national squad, Pamela Rosado, through the Puerto Rico Basketball Federation’s social media.
“I know that you are going through a tough time…We’ve been through this before, so I know everyone in the community will lean on each other and help each other out. Stay safe,” guard Jennifer O’Neill said.
“We are praying for you, and are following you just as you follow us. Take care, we love you,” added Isalys Quiñones, among several of the messages expressed by some of the members of the campus.
Una publicación compartida por Federación de Baloncesto PUR (@fbpur)
After this win against their first opponent, Puerto Rico are now in a favorable position to advance to the Quarter-Finals and give all their people a glimpse of joy in the midst of a difficult situation.
For the rest of the Group Phase in Australia, Puerto Rico will continue their journey in Group A facing the United States (September 23), Belgium (24), China (26) and Korea (27).
Group B hosts France, Serbia, Japan, Mali, Canada and Australia. The top four teams from each group will advance to the Quarter-finals.
Whatever the final results will be, there is one certainty and which is that the island will continue to feel proud of their women’s national team that in the recent past has left the country on a high standard. From 2018 to now, their achievements include two gold medals in the Women’s Centrobasket Championship, a fourth place and a silver medal in the Women’s FIBA AmeriCup, participation in the 2018 FIBA Women’s World Cup, the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and again in this 2022 World Cup.
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