Puerto Rico reaches first World Cup quarter-finals

SYDNEY (AP) — Puerto Rico has reached the quarter-finals of the Women’s World Cup for the first time ever.

Mya Hollingshead scored 29 points and Arla Guerentes added 18 points to lead Puerto Rico to a 92-73 win over South Korea on Tuesday on the final day of pool play.

Puerto Rico (2-3) scored the first 18 points of the game, including 10 points by Hollingshead, and never looked back, finishing last in the quarter-finals starting Thursday.

“My shot was falling,” said Hollingshead. “I looked up and they hadn’t scored yet.”

After the final buzzer sounded, Puerto Ricans were dancing and celebrating their achievement.

In other games on Tuesday, the US played Bosnia and Herzegovina; Canada faced Mali; France played Serbia; China competed against Belgium and Australia against Japan. While all other quarter-final spots were already closed, the teams’ positions still had to be determined. FIBA Australia-Japan will hold a draw for the matchup in the elimination round after the game.

Just as it won the tournament for the first time in the country’s history, players and coaches are hopeful that advancing into the quarter will bring some joy to the island Which was destroyed by Hurricane Fiona.

“It means a lot with everything that happens on the island,” Hollingshead said. “With what they’re dealing with, we’re playing for more than ourselves. Everyone I know is upbeat and encouraging us.”

The team had lost their three matches in the 2018 World Cup at an average of around 28 points. The team was also not supposed to be in the tournament, but was given a place when Russia was not allowed to compete after the invasion of Ukraine.

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There was a scary moment for South Korea when Yebin Eun fell to the ground injured after missing a lap. After a few minutes of being seen by the team’s coaches, he was escorted to the locker room.


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