Jul 05, 2024

Puerto Rico’s national basketball team defeated Italy in the second game of the third date of the Olympic Qualifying Tournament for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, at the José Miguel Agrelot Coliseum, with a score of 80-69.

The team led by Nelson Colon, relied on NBA player Jose Alvarado, who came off the bench and led with 29 points, scoring seven three-pointers in 10 attempts, and three steals, followed by George Conditt IV, with 15 points and four boards, and Tremont Waters who had a double-double of 10 points and 12 assists.

This victory allowed the Puerto Ricans to finish as leaders of Group B in the preliminary phase and avoid Lithuania in the semifinals this Saturday.

With 12,519 fans present at the Choliseo, as the José Miguel Agrelot Coliseum is known, the Puerto Rican team broke a drought against the Italian team that dates back to 1963, according to FIBA reports.

For Italy, Danilo Gallinari had 14 points, followed by Nico Mannion with 11 and Nicolo Melli who added seven points with 11 rebounds.


Puerto Rico’s coach, Nelson Colon, was very emotional during the press conference after the game, talking about the sacrifices that each player and member of the Federation and the team makes to be able to bring this kind of joy to his people, and in this tournament that is extremely important for local basketball.

“It’s something special for the team, for the island, and for the kids. Twenty years in the future, they will talk about what we did in this game. I am grateful to be a coach of this team,” said the renowned Puerto Rican coach.

He also spoke of the great contribution that Alvarado made for the team by coming from the bench, accepting a different role, and being the leader on the field showing that he has no egos, indicating that when he was told about this move, the player agreed and was willing to do what the coaching staff understood.


With the positions of both groups of this qualifier to the Paris 2024 Olympic Games in basketball defined, the semifinals this Saturday will begin at 4:00 pm, between Lithuania and Italy; while at 7:00 pm, Puerto Rico will be facing Mexico.

The winners of the semifinals will play on Sunday, in a match scheduled for 6:00 p.m., for the only ticket to this summer’s Paris event.

The Paris 2024 Olympic Games open on July 26 with a ceremony where the delegations will open by boat on the Seine River. Men’s basketball will begin its competition the following day at the Pierre Mauroy Stadium.

Written by Daniela Sánchez Cienfuegos


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