Puerto Rico is heading to the quarter-finals of the Women’s World Cup for the first time.
Mya Hollingshed scored 29 points and Arella Guirantes added 18 to lead Puerto Rico to a 92-73 win over South Korea on Tuesday in the final pool day.
Puerto Rico (2-3) scored the game’s first 18 points, including 10 by Hollingshed, and never looked back, securing the last spot in the quarter-finals which begin on Thursday.
“My shot was falling,” Hollingshed said. “I looked up and they hadn’t scored yet.”
After the last buzzer, the Puerto Ricans were dancing and celebrating their achievement.
In Tuesday’s other matches, the United States faced Bosnia and Herzegovina; Canada played Mali; France played against Serbia; China faced Belgium and Australia faced Japan. While all other quarter-final places were already locked, the positioning of the teams was yet to be determined. FIBA will hold a draw for the knockout round matches after the Australia-Japan game.
Much like winning for the first time in the country’s history earlier in the tournament, players and coaches will hope advancing to the quarters will bring joy to the island which has been ravaged by the Fiona.
“It means a lot with everything going on on the island,” Hollingshed said. “With everything they’re up against, we’re playing for more than ourselves. I know everyone is excited and cheering us on.
The team was winless in its three games at the 2018 World Cup, dropping an average of almost 28 points. The team wasn’t even supposed to take part in the tournament, but were given a spot when Russia weren’t allowed to compete after their invasion of Ukraine.
South Korea had a scary moment when Yebin Yoon fell to the ground injured after missing a lay-up. After a few minutes of observation by the team coaches, she was taken to the locker room.
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