25 August, 2023
10 September
51 Tremont Waters (PUR)
Game Report
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Waters' 37 points too hot for Dominicans, Puerto Rico win creates 4-way tie

MANILA (Philippines) - Puerto Rico put themselves right in the race for the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 Quarter-Finals with a thrilling 102-97 victory over Dominican Republic to create a four-way tie in the Second Round Group I.

Tremont Waters led the way with 37 points as one of 5 players in double figures for Puerto Rico, who joined the Dominicans, Italy and Serbia all at 3-1 in the fight for the knockout stage. Waters got the best of a great shoot-out with Dominican big man Karl-Anthony Towns who scored 39 points.

This is only the second time that two players from different teams have scored more than 35 points in a FIBA World Cup game. The previous time was in 1990 when Andrew Gaze scored 37 for Australia and Oscar Schmidt scored 52 for Brazil.

This was just the second World Cup game between these teams with the other match-up dating back to the 1978 edition where Puerto Rico won 119-89 - also in Manila. Puerto Rico improved their all-time record to 13-3 over the Dominicans.

Game Highlights


Turning Point: Puerto Rico opened a 16-point lead in the second quarter only to see the Dominicans fight back into the game and close the first half on a 14-2 run to even things 45-45 at the break. The Dominicans had the better third quarter and were ahead 72-61 late in the frame. The lead was 84-76 when Puerto Rico reeled off 10 straight points to take the lead 86-84.

That was the first of 9 lead changes and 3 ties in the final 4:49 minutes with George Conditt blocking Victor Liz's layup attempt and then John Holland buried a three-pointer to put Puerto Rico up 98-95 with 31 seconds to play. After Towns missed a triple attempt, Waters made two free throws with 20 seconds to seal the game.

TCL Player of the Game: Tremont Waters would not let Puerto Rico lose as the point guard poured in 37 points in hitting 11-of-22 shots, including 7-of-13 from long range and 8-of-8 free throws to take home the TCL Player of the Game honor. Waters also had 11 assists, 7 rebounds and 4 steals.

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Stats Don't Lie: Puerto Rico shot 66 percent on two-pointers and got out on the break for a 26-15 advantage on fast break points.

Bottom Line:  Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic find themselves in a four-way tie at 3-1 along with Italy and Serbia. Both Caribbean nations control their own destiny as either will reach the Quarter-Finals with a win on Sunday - Dominican Republic against Serbia and Puerto Rico versus Italy.

They Said: "What can I say? I am very proud of these guys. It's amazing. When you have a chance to stop and look at everything they did tonight and the whole tournament, it's amazing. We knew that we had a tough game tonight - a rivalry, a derby. But we accepted the challenge as a team." - Puerto Rico coach Nelson Colon

"DR is a tough team. They play very physical and they have a big presence down low in Towns. So all game we had to try to stop him. But overall I think George (Conditt) did a great job and all the bigs too." - Puerto Rico guard Tremont Waters

"This was just a great game. It is a rivalry so it's good to get the win. I’m just proud of the whole team, the whole squad, the way we've grown from preparation games up to now. But the job is not done. It was great to win tonight but we got one more." - Puerto Rico forward John Holland

"As a team I think we did a really good job from the preparation games. People seeing us from the outside think we had cracks in the group, but we stayed together, sealed those cracks and as you can see we came together and got the win."  - Puerto Rico center George Conditt

"Crazy game. You know, the Dominican Republic, we have a lot of respect for them. They're a fellow island, so we knew coming into this game, there's a lot of history, and we knew it's gonna be a dogfight. And we were up at one point. We were up by 15, 16. They came back, cut it, tied it at halftime, and then took a lead, and then we fought back. But just says a lot about this group. We're a resilient group that plays together, and so just glad we got the win." - Puerto Rico guard Jordan Howard 

"That was a tough game. Puerto Rico decided this victory because they made some big shots. That is something they are good at. I never think when we win it's because we play good and when we lose it's because we played bad. The other team prepared for the game, did scouting and are motivated. They deserve this victory." - Dominican Republic coach Nestor ‘Che’ Garcia

"A lot of credit to Puerto Rico but also for us. It was a tremendous game at both ends of the floor. We just have to believe in ourselves and forget this. We have another game on Sunday." -
Dominican Republic guard Andres Feliz

Press Conference:


The game report will be updated shortly. Check back soon for Game Highlights and They Said.