The Boricua quintet’s victory over Lithuania, with a score of 79-68, was a testament to the unwavering support of the full venue. Their collective energy propelled Puerto Rico back to an Olympic event after a hiatus of two decades.

It has been quite a while since the joy came to San Juan de Puerto Rico. Yesterday’s exciting event at the main Coliseo of the city was unforgettable and etched in the country’s history.

With over 14 thousand spectators, Puerto Rico vs. Lithuania was disputed as the final match for the Men’s Basketball Olympic Tournament.

The Boricua quintet last participated in the Olympic Games in Athens in 2004; thus, the expectations for this match were high. Government and Sports authorities, and even singers like Bad Bunny and Ozuna, did not miss this party.

Puerto Rico defeated Bahrein and Italy in Group B and eliminated Mexico in the semi-finals. Everyone believed in the team led by coach Nelson Colón.

Puerto Rico started the match on fire. The golden duo José Alvarado and Tremont Waters was unstoppable for the Europeans. Even though in the first quarter things were pretty balanced between the teams, in the second quarter, the locals showed why they deserved to win the cup.

With complete domination in the third and fourth quarters and extreme accuracy and efficiency under the hoop, the locals won the match with a score of 79-68, making the entire “Island of Enchantment” celebrate in a thrilling and joyful party.

José Alvarado was Puerto Rico’s top scorer with 23 points, followed by Waters with 18 points. Alvarado was also the tournament MVP, averaging 16 points, 3.8 rebounds, 3.0 assists, and 2.3 steals per game.

The triumph and qualification for the Boricuas, returning to the Olympic Games after 20 years.

In Paris, Puerto Rico is placed in Group C, with the current Olympic champion United States, Serbia, and newcomer to the event, South Sudan.

The men’s basketball competition will start on July 27th in Lille and conclude with the final match and the match for third place at Bercy Arena in Paris on August 10th.

Data Sheet:

Puerto Rico 79 (19+20+23+18): Piñeiro (4), Conditt (6), Howard (12), Reed (5), Alvarado (23), Thompson (0), Ford (0), Clavell (5), Romero (2), Ortiz (4), Toro (0), Waters (18).

Coach: Nelson Colón.

Lithuania 68 (19+16+15+17): Sedekerskis (0), Tubelis (0), Sabonis (10), Jokubaitis (16), Kuzminskas (6), Motiejunas (8), Dimsa (0), Grigonis (8), Lekavicius (5), Butkevicius (7), Sirvydis (0), Ulanovas (8).

Coach: Kazys Maksvytis.