USA men’s basketball team defeats Puerto Rico to advance to 4-1 in FIBA Basketball World Cup qualifier
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Justin Jackson scored 26 points, Langston Galloway added 18, and the United States men’s basketball team moved one step closer to qualifying for the World Cup this year. next by beating Puerto Rico 83-75 on Friday night.
John Jenkins scored 13 goals for the Americans, who improved to 4-1 in World Cup qualifying in the FIBA Americas Region.
New Orleans Pelicans’ Jose Alvarado scored 20 for Puerto Rico (2-3), while Gian Clavell scored 17. Ismael Romero added 15 for Puerto Rico.
The United States closes the first qualifying round on Monday in Cuba. The Americans have already clinched a spot in the second round, as has Puerto Rico.
Jordan Bell dispatched the United States in the half with a 42-37 lead by conceding a 3-pointer that just beat the buzzer, then had words for the Puerto Rico crowd as he left the floor for the intermission.
That seemed to fire up the Americans, who came out strong in the third quarter.
Galloway hit three straight for a nine-point lead early in the quarter, and then Jackson took over. He scored nine straight American points, that run ending when Cook connected on a deep 3-pointer from left wing with 2:49 left for a 63-46 lead.
Puerto Rico lost ground, but the Americans still had a 15-point lead in the final quarter after another score beat against the clock – tipping Eric Mika as time expired in the third for a 66-advance. 51.
The Americans kept the lead all the way. Alvarado made a 3-pointer with 14 seconds left to bring Puerto Rico to 81-75, but the result was already decided.
Records from the first round carry over to the second round, consisting of six more games starting in August. Only Canada (5-0) and Brazil (5-0), who play in other first-round groups, have better records than the United States
The Americas region will see 12 teams take part in the second qualifying round, and of these, seven will take part in the World Cup – the main qualifier for the Paris 2024 Olympics.
CANADA 95, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC 75
In Hamilton, Ont., Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 15 of 32 points in the third quarter to lead Canada to an easy win.
Kelly Olynyk scored 17 points and had 11 rebounds for Canada. Nickeil Alexander-Walker, who is cousin to Gilgeous-Alexander, also had 17 points.
Victor Liz scored 12 points for the Dominican Republic.