Jul 08, 2024

20 years later they return to the Olympic Games! And the Puerto Rican men’s basketball national team achieved the feat of winning the ticket to Paris 2024, after beating Lithuania 79-68, on Sunday, July 7, the last day of the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament, held at the Coliseo de Puerto Rico, José Miguel Agrelot.

With the presence of 13,504 fans, El Choli experienced one of the most important stories for Puerto Rican basketball and the local basketball federation, which with this classification, will have for the first time the women’s and men’s teams in an Olympic event, starting on the 27th of this month, when the boys’ schedule begins, and on the 28th, when it is time for the girls.

José Alvarado, named the Most Valuable Player of this tournament, once again led the Puerto Rican offense with 23 points, including four three-pointers in six attempts, six rebounds and two stolen balls, accompanied by Tremont Waters who added 18 points, and Jordan Howard, who added 12 units.

The Puerto Rican men’s basketball team returns to the Olympic Games for the first time since Athens 2004, when it made its last appearance in this type of tournament, with the Caribbean squad led by José “Piculín” Ortiz, Rick Apodaca, Carlos Arroyo, Larry Ayuso, Eddie Casiano, Christian Dalmau, Bobby Joe Hatton, Peter John Ramos, Sharif Karim Fajardo, Jorge Rivera, Daniel Santiago and Rolando Hourruitiner.

For Lithuania, Rokas Jokubaitis led the Europeans with 16 points, followed by Domantas Sabonis who added ten points, grabbed nine rebounds and dished out four assists, and Marius Grigonis, who had eight points, grabbed seven rebounds and dished out six assists.


Picu Ortiz, Rolando Hourritiner, Carlos Arroyo, José Juan Barea, among other players who are part of the identity of Puerto Rican basketball, enjoyed during the five days of competition of the tournament, every play of this national team.

For example, Piculín was part of the coaching staff that worked with the big men of the team, including George Conditt IV, who before each game, the young athlete went to José’s seat to listen to his guidance on how to play against the opponent of the day.

Hourritiner was part of the panel of Wapa, a television channel that broadcast Puerto Rico’s games exclusively for the entire island.

Arroyo, is now the General Manager of the national team, and did recruiting work with Nelson Colon for the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

And JJ Barea, has always been identified with every game of the national team regardless of the event that is on the agenda with the quintet.

In addition, throughout the championship, local and international sports authorities were always present.


Tonight the Puerto Rico Basketball Federation has sealed a 2024 where you can call it successful, having both teams in the Olympic Games for the first time in its history.

The women’s team earned their ticket to Paris 2024 during the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament played in Xi’an, China, in February, thus achieving their second consecutive qualification.

Paris 2024 will be the tenth edition in which Puerto Rican men’s basketball competes in the Olympic Games, with the 1960 version being its debut in this sport.


Carlos Arroyo confirmed during the press conference at the end of the meeting, that the players who were part of this Olympic Qualifying Tournament to Paris 2024, will be the ones who will be in the summer event, taking into consideration that this Monday the Puerto Rico Olympic Committee must make the official registration for the Olympic Games.

“They earned it,” was Arroyo’s response to the media that covered the event at the Coliseo de Puerto Rico, José Miguel Agrelot, located in San Juan.


On July 28, Puerto Rico will play against South Sudan, in a match scheduled for 5:00 a.m. Puerto Rican time. This African team, which will make its debut in the Olympic Games, sealed its entry to the Olympic Games by being the best African team in the 2023 World Cup.

Then, they will face Serbia on Wednesday, July 31, in a match scheduled for 11:15 a.m. Puerto Rican time.

They will finish Group C against the United States at 11:15 a.m. Puerto Rican time.

Written by Daniela Sánchez Cienfuegos


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