25 August, 2017
03 September
14 Gilberto Clavell (PUR)
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Effective Puerto Rico get their first victory

MEDELLIN (FIBA AmeriCup 2017) - The chances of Puerto Rico qualifying to the Final Four at Cordoba had already left the building before starting their match against Colombia on Saturday night. Nonetheless, this didn't stop the Boricua squad to showcase their talent, especially in the offense.

Thanks to 14 triples in 24 attempts, the Puerto Ricans marked their distance at the second quarter for a comfortable triumph of 91-72 against the Colombians at the end of Group A's second day at the AmeriCup that is taking place in Medellin.

“We remained positive. We're a young team, we play well, we adapt fast. We made some adjustments in the defense. Now we're more comfortable in the court and the shots went it,” said Puerto Rican Small Forward Gilberto Clavell, who didn't miss a shot of his five attempts —including three triples— to add up 13 points.

Mexico's victory starting the round left Puerto Rico without any chances to move forward to the tournament’s Semi-Final, where the Boricuas fall short from reaching for the second continental tournament in a row, a historic event for the Caribbean side.

However, Puerto Rico played a solid game teamwork-wise. Carlos Rivera stood out with 15 points, Emmanuel Andújar with 14, and Center Taylor Davis with 13 points, seven rebounds and two blocks. According to the 20-year old inside player, there was nothing new in their preparation.

“(Our mindset) was the same one as every other night: enter the court, do my job, play my part and win,” debuting Davis pointed out.

Puerto Rican Coach Eddie Casiano acknowledged his players’ efforts, which are part of an extensive rebuilding process.

“It’s a collective win. It's important for this group. It's good for our confidence and the philosophy we're trying to implement: that all 12 players are part of this,” said Casiano at the press conference.

Although they're already eliminated from the Semis, Puerto Rico still must play against Brazil on Sunday: a key encounter for both squads in their intent to qualify for the 2019 Pan American Games in Lima.

“It’ll be a tough game against Brazil. We have to end with a good win,” Casiano stated.

In terms of the Colombian side, Coach Guillermo Moreno resumed the game in the following way: “There's not much to say. It's hard to compete when you're under the 36% (effectiveness rate). I insist, since we started to prepare, our efficiency hasn't been the best. We have to keep on developing at this type of competition.”

Meanwhile, Forward Michaell Jackson agreed with his coach’s impression:

“Effectiveness and efficiency are what make the difference in these high-caliber games. We have a good team and we're working hard,” Jackson said.

Colombia will conclude their AmeriCup participation when they face Mexico at Sunday’s second game at Medellin.