The Panamanian basketball team fell with a score of 71-70 against Puerto Rico in one of the most closed duels of the qualifiers to the 2019 China World Cup and compromised their aspirations to attend said World Cup.
The “canaleros”, supported at all times by the home fans in the Roberto Durán Arena, dominated the first two quarters, gave the third to Puerto Rico and left the fourth to define the match, which favored the Puerto Ricans thanks to the great performance of Alex Franklin, who finished with 14 points, six rebounds and two assists coming from the bench.
Panama showed at all times that it was looking for the victory that would allow it to unseat Puerto Rico from the fourth place of Group E, with Michael Hicks, Daniel Girón, Javier Carter and Trevor Gaskins contributing, in offense, the necessary points to stay alive in the game.
It was not enough for the Panamanian national team, who must now win the remaining two games, corresponding to the sixth and final window of the knock-out stage, and wait for other results, both from Group E and from F to see if they can get the ticket to China as the best fourth place.
To do this, they must first beat Mexico and the United States as a visitor. The Aztecs, last in the standings, will face them on February 22; while they will measure against the Americans, seconds of the group, three days later.
Must see! Catch the highlights of @fbpur 🇵🇷 and @FePaBa 🇵🇦's match in Panama City as part of the #FIBAWC Americas Qualifiers! #ThisIsMyHouse— Basketball World Cup (@FIBAWC) December 3, 2018
📝 https://t.co/LgS4HMqIyk pic.twitter.com/MyduXcaMIw
¡Amarga derrota! Hoy caímos en casa ante el equipo de Puerto Rico con marcador:— FEPABA (@FePaBa) December 3, 2018
PUERTO RICO: 71
¡Finalizan los encuentros de la 5ta ventana Rumbo a China 2019! #LaRojaSinMangas 🏠🏀🇵🇦🔥 pic.twitter.com/medQ5xe3mk