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Puerto Rico tops Cuba, reaches 2nd round of FIBA Basketball World Cup qualies - Jun 30, 2018

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Gary Browne
Puerto Rico has advanced to the second round of Americas region qualifying for the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup with a narrow 84-80 win over Cuba. Puerto Rico's bench was the key to its victory in Group C action Thursday night at San Juan's Roberto Clemente Coliseum. Cuba played a strong second quarter to take a 42-35 lead at the intermission, with Jasiel Rivero (204-C-93, agency: Pro Sports) leading the way with 19 points and nine rebounds at halftime. But Puerto Rican head coach Eddie Casiano made a key move in the second half when he replaced stars J.J. Barea and Javier Mojica with reserves Angel Rodriguez (180-PG-92, college: Miami, FL) and Gary Browne (185-G-93, college: W.Virginia), respectively. That switch improved the team's ball movement, while Rodriguez's desire and energy gave his side the spark it needed down the stretch. Cuba's lead had shrunk to 60-59 by the end of the third quarter, although the visitors later pushed that advantage back up to five points with a basket by Javier Justiz. But Barea and Rodriguez dominated down the stretch as Puerto Rico ended the game on a 14-5 run.
Puerto Rico, which is second in Group C behind the United States with one first-round game remaining, secured a berth in the second round of Americas qualifying with Thursday night's win. In the second round, which gets under way in September, Puerto Rico will try to qualify for the finals of the FIBA Basketball World Cup. That competition will be held from Aug. 31 to Sept. 15, 2019, in China.
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Jasiel Rivero selected the top Cuban playing abroad in last week's games - 8 days ago
We bring you last week's top performances from Cubans who are playing abroad and who all have had prior experience of national team duties at youth or senior level. This week's number one is an international power forward Jasiel Rivero (204-93, agency: Pro Sports). He led Boca Juniors to a victory over the 16th-ranked Hispano Americano de Rio Gallegos in the Argentinian La Liga in Sunday night's game.    [read more]

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