Puerto Rico Rumors
Despite a slow start and a bad shooting night, Spain managed to get a 73-65 win over Iran in Group C of FIBA World Cup. Spain won all three of its games so far and stayed at the top of the group while Iran lost all three and finished last. Puerto Rico (2-1) got the better of Tunisia (1-2) earlier today and advanced further. Marc Gasol led the winning side with 16 points while Victor Claver and Juancho Hernangomez added 11 each. The latter also grabbed ten rebounds for a double-double.
Spain put Saturday’s triumph over Tunisia behind when they stepped foot on the floor on Monday against Puerto Rico, as they sealed a 73-63 victory, their second in Group C of the tournament that helps them qualify to the second round. Marc Gasol’s experience and dominance helped Sergio Scariolo’s squad get over the tough moments of the game, and the big man finished the game with 19 points, seven rebounds, and two assists.
Renaldo Balkman’s inclusion into Puerto Rico’s FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 squad is hoped to spark the team in China. The former New York Knicks and Denver Nuggets player was only recently included by the Puerto Rican Basketball Federation and he made the final 12-man roster to China.
Tim MacMahon: Mavs guard J.J. Barea has opted to take a cautious approach in his recovery from a ruptured Achilles instead of pushing to play for Puerto Rico in the World Cup. Barea is encouraged with his progress but has accepted that rushing to play in less than 8 months isn’t worth risk.
Tim MacMahon: Barea told ESPN that this was an extremely difficult decision due to how much pride he takes in representing Puerto Rico. He’s still trying to help his national team in the World Cup by recruiting pro players with Puerto Rican roots.
Barea has his annual basketball camp for kids on July 1, before the expected birth of their son, and his charity golf tournament is in Puerto Rico in early August. Also, it’s still possible Barea could be involved with the Puerto Rico national team in the basketball world cup. “I 100 percent want to do it,” Barea said. “It’s a possibility. A couple weeks before, I’ll decide. It’s going to be hard to do, but I don’t want to close the door on it. My doctors say I should be able to do whatever I want on the court by August.”
Tim MacMahon: J.J. Barea hopes to play for Puerto Rico in the World Cup, which begins Aug. 31, less than eight months after he ruptured his right Achilles’ tendon. “The way I feel right now, it looks pretty good,” Barea told ESPN. “But I’m not going to make a decision until it gets closer.”