Puerto Rico, the surprise of the Women’s Basketball World Cup

Unpublished, historical. Good news among many other not so good news that are happening right now in Puerto Rico. While thousands of Puerto Ricans in their homes were heading for their tenth consecutive day without electricity -and others even without drinking water- due to the strong passage of Hurricane Fiona, the women’s national basketball team made history in Sydney, Australia.

The Puerto Rican team, the only Latin representation in the Women’s Basketball World Cup, overcame 92-73 South Korea in their final group stage game to secure their place in the quarterfinals of the event. For now, the big surprise of the tournament.

“For all of us who have been in women’s basketball for a long time, this is indescribable,” said head coach Jerry Batista in statements shared by the Federation of that country. “This is a job for many people. Being in the best eight in the world is saying a lot,” added the coach, visibly moved.

Puerto Rico, which was invited to the tournament after Russia withdrew (as a result of the war with Ukraine), will face Canada, number four in the world, in the quarterfinals.

Former Los Angeles Sparks point guard Arella Guirantes leads the team in scoring with 18 points per game as well as rebounds (6.4) and assists (3.6). However, against Korea, it was Mya Hollingshed who led the victory by contributing 29 points and 12 rebounds.

Puerto Rico, which also played in the 2018 World Cup, also finished the current group stage with a victory against Bosnia & Herzegovina, and defeats against the United States, China and Belgium.

As reported by the newspaper El Nuevo Día, part of the funds allocated for the preparation of the Puerto Rican group came from the working group of the urban music star, Bad Bunny. Also from the Puerto Rican Olympic Committee.

Hurricane Fiona, which passed through the island as Category 1 more than a week ago, caused its 78 municipalities to be declared a disaster zone, due to floods and multiple damages to infrastructure.

The Puerto Rico Department of Health has confirmed, so far, at least eight deaths related to the cyclone. One direct and seven indirect. Five years ago, Hurricane Maria claimed the lives of an estimated 4,645 people, according to a Harvard study.

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Puerto Rico, the surprise of the Women’s Basketball World Cup