Puerto Rico national basketball team

Infobox national basketball team
logo=FBPR.png logo_width=97px
country=Puerto Rico
fiba_zone=FIBA Americas
wc_appearances= 11
zone_championship=FIBA Americas Championship
zone_appearances= 12
zone_medals="Gold": 1980, 1989, 1995 "Silver": 1988, 1993, 1997 "Bronze": 2003, 2007
coach=Manolo Cintrón
The Puerto Rican national basketball team (or Puerto Rican national basketball selection) is the men's side that represents Puerto Rico in international basketball competitions. The team, selected by the Puerto Rican Basketball Federation, historically comprised only players from the National Superior Basketball league, but in the 1990s began to include Puerto Rican players playing abroad professionally. In the same fashion, teams represent Puerto Rico in women's and junior competitions.


In the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, the team reached fourth place, in good part because of the contributions of point guard Juan "Pachín" Vicéns. This was, and still is as of 2007, the highest place they have reached since the team's birth at any Olympic Games.cite web|url=http://www.fibaamericas.com/federacion_us.asp?f=PUR| title=Men's Competition - Puerto Rico | publisher=FIBA Americas| accessdate=2007-08-25]

The 1970s brought some memorable moments for the team, particularly a dramatic one-point loss to the United States in the 1976 Olympics; a win would have been the first undisputed loss for the US in Olympic competition. During this decade, the 1974 Basketball World Championship and the 1979 Pan American Games were held in San Juan, promoting local enthusiasm for international basketball and Puerto Rico's presence in it.

During the 1980s, the team earned gold medals at the 1986 Dominican Republic Central American and Caribbean games, and the 1989 Mexico Centrobasket. They also obtained a Bronze medal at the 1987 Olympic Qualifier held in Uruguay, to secure their first Olympic participation since 1976. They did not participate at the 1980 Moscow games due to the American boycott of that competition (The Puerto Rican team, as Puerto Rico is an autonomous nation sportswise, could have participated; they chose to respect the boycott instead), and at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics because they failed to qualify. The Puerto Ricans advanced to the second round in the 1988 Seoul Olympics, finishing in seventh place.

During the 1990s, their success continued as usual, as they begun the decade with a Fourth Place finish at the World Championship in Argentina. In 1991, they won, for the first time, the Gold Medal at the Pan American Games, held in Cuba. The team qualified for the 1992 Barcelona, Spain Olympics and they reached the second round there, facing the United States National team composed by NBA players in their first game of the elimination round. They finished in eighth place in Barcelona. In 1994, they finished in sixth place at the World Championship in Canada, and won the Gold Medal at the Goodwill Games competition. During this period, Puerto Rico was classified as one of the top 10 international teams.

In 1996, they placed 10th at the Olympic Games in Atlanta, USA, and conquered the first of back to back Gold medals at Centrobasket. In 2000, they retained the Centrobasket title, with another triumph in Mexico. In 2003, the team won the Gold medal at the Central American and Caribbean Games, held at El Salvador.

In 2002, the team had a strong showing at the World Championship held in Indianapolis, USA. In a tournament full of well-known professionals, including NBA superstars, they beat the top 3 European teams at the time; eventual champion Yugoslavia, Turkey and Spain. Puerto Rico, with a 5-1 record entering the quarterfinals, lost its chance to get into the medals round in a dramatic 2-point loss to New Zealand, eventually placing seventh.

The Puerto Rican National Basketball Team conquered the silver medal at the 2004 Centrobasket tournament, losing to the Dominican Republic, 75-74, in the championship game.

In August 15, 2004, at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece, the Puerto Rican National Basketball Team became the second team in history to defeat the United States Olympic basketball team, recording only the third loss in Olympic competition for the U.S. team, and the first since NBA players were allowed to compete. The 92-73 outcome of that game is, as of 2007, the most lopsided victory against the US (collegiate or professional players) in the history of Olympic/World Championship basketball. The other team to defeat the U.S. had been the Soviet Union in the 1972 gold medal game (whose outcome is still disputed) and the 1988 semifinals.


At the 2006 FIBA World Championship contested in Japan, Puerto Rico, in group play, defeated Senegal and the People's Republic of China but lost ties against the United States, Italy, and Slovenia, the latter two, played respectively on August 23 and August 24 in Sapporo, by eight points and then one. The application of a second tiebreaker of points differential to Slovenia, China, and Puerto Rico, each with a winning percentage of .400, placed Puerto Rico fifth in Group D, and the team did not advance to the knockout round; the squad were ultimately placed seventeenth amongst the twenty-four competing teams.

On August 6, 2007, the team began in their first participation in a "Caribe Basket" tournament, debuting against Trinidad & Tobago.cite book| title=A la cancha| author=José R. Ortúzar| publisher="El Vocero"| location=Puerto Rico| chapter=Deportes| language=Spanish| date=2007-08-06| pages=62] Although the team didn't had the participation of Daniel Santiago or Rick Apodaca, they won the tournament which was classificatory for the 2008 Centrobasket.

Puerto Rico was placed in Group D of the Fiba Preolympic Tournament in the draw that took place on January 31, 2008. This group included Croatia and Cameroon and its winner would cross with the second place of Group C. Following this event the president of the National Superior Basketball League confirmed that the team had already scheduled exhibition games against Germany, Greece and New Zealand beginning on July 4, 2008. A second set of exhibition games was scheduled to start on July 8, 2008 in Slovenia, after these preparatory tournaments the team would train until the tournament's beginning.cite web| url= http://www.primerahora.com/noticia/baloncesto/accion_deportiva/la_clasificacion__esta_accesible/153441| title=La clasificación está accesible| author=Raúl álzaga Sánchez-Bretón| publisher="Primera Hora"| date=2008-02-01| accessdate=2008-02-01] The team began practicing on May 19, 2008, and included several players that were under consideration for inclusion by Cintrón. [cite web| url=http://www.primerahora.com/noticia/baloncesto/accion_deportiva/muchas_ausencias_en_primera_practica/191977| title=Muchas ausencias en primera práctica| author=Raúl Álzaga Sánchez-Bretón| publisher="Primera Hora"| language=Spanish| date=2008-05-20| accessdate=2008-06-04] On June 4, 2008, Daniel Santiago confirmed that he would abandon his international retirement and play with Puerto Rico in the Preolympic Tournament.cite web| url=http://bsnpr.com/noticias/detalles.asp?r=4258&t=| title=Daniel Santiago con el equipo nacional:| publisher=Baloncesto Superior Nacional| language=Spanish| date=2008-06-04| accessdate=2008-06-04] The player announced that he would join the team in July, following an exhibition game. Javier Mojica, Alejandro Carmona and Joel Jones were included in as potential members in a preliminary team. [cite web| url=http://www.primerahora.com/noticia/baloncesto/accion_deportiva/mojica_y_bimbo_completan_la_seleccion/205616| title=Mojica y 'Bimbo' completan la Selección| author=Raúl Álzaga Sánchez-Bretón| publisher="Primera Hora"| language=Spanish| date=2008-06-30| accessdate=2008-07-01] On July 1, 2008, hours before the team was scheluded to travel to Europe, Angelo Reyes was excluded after not establishing communication with the directives. Reyes was replaced with Alex Falcón.cite web| url=http://www.primerahora.com/noticia/baloncesto/accion_deportiva/¡desplante_de_angelo_reyes!:_le_dice_no_a_la_seleccion/205919| title=¡Desplante de Angelo Reyes!: Le dice 'no' a la Selección| author= Raúl Álzaga Sánchez-Bretón| publisher="Primera Hora"| language=Spanish| date=2008-07-01| accessdate=2008-07-01] Subsecuently, Reyes asked for a dispense to attend personal matters, noting that he intended to join the team in a week, however the player was not included due to time contrains. [cite web| url=http://www.primerahora.com/noticia/baloncesto/accion_deportiva/reversazo_de_reyes/206186| title=Reversazo de Reyes| author=Raúl Álzaga Sánchez-Bretón| publisher="Primera Hora"| language=Spanish| date=2008-07-02| accessdate=2008-07-04] [cite web| url=http://www.primerahora.com/noticia/baloncesto/acciondeportiva/angelo_reyes_no_ira_a_grecia/208325| title=Angelo Reyes no irá a Grecia| author=Lester Jiménez| publisher=Primera Hora| language=Spanish| date=2008-07-09| accessdate=2008-07-09] In the first game of a series of exhibition games, Puerto Rico defeated Germany with scores of 85-83. In this game the team was mostly composed of reserve players, while Carlos Arroyo, Daniel Santiago, Larry Ayuso and Carmelo Lee were attending different compromises. [cite web| url= http://www.primerahora.com/noticia/baloncesto/acciondeportiva/boricuas_debutan_con_triunfo_ante_alemania/207257| title=Boricuas debutan con triunfo ante Alemania| author=Raúl Álzaga Sánchez-Bretón| publisher="Primera Hora"| language=Spanish| date=2008-07-04| accessdate=2008-07-04] Puerto Rico continued playing with these players, finishing second in the Bamberg Super Cup, losing in the finals to Greece who entered the cup with their entire lineup. [cite web| url=http://www.primerahora.com/noticia/baloncesto/acciondeportiva/derrota_ante_los_griegos/207420| title=Derrota ante los griegos| publisher="Primera Hora"| language=Spanish| date=2008-07-05| accessdate=2008-07-05] Santiago and Ayuso joined the practices on July 5, 2008. Puerto Rico then traveled to Slovenia, where the Alpos Cup was being held. The first match in this tournament was against New Zealand, whom they defeated 82-74. [cite web| url=http://www.primerahora.com/noticia/baloncesto/acciondeportiva/puerto_rico_vence_a_nueva_zelanda_en_baloncesto/208041| title=Puerto Rico vence a Nueva Zelanda en baloncesto| publisher="Primera Hora"| language=Spanish| date=2008-07-08| accessdate=2008-07-08] In the semifinals the team faced Iran, defeating them 83-80. [cite web| url=http://www.primerahora.com/noticia/baloncesto/acciondeportiva/puerto_rico_vence_a_iran_83-80/208320| title=Puerto Rico vence a Irán 83-80| publisher=Primera Hora| language=Spanish| date=2008-07-09| accessdate=2008-07-09] Puerto Rico finished second in ths cup, losing to Slovenia in the finals. [cite web| url=http://www.primerahora.com/noticia/baloncesto/acciondeportiva/pierde_nuestra_seleccion_ante_eslovenia/209227| title=Pierde nuestra Selección ante Eslovenia| author=Lester Jiménez| publisher="Primera Hora"| language=Spanish| date=2008-07-10| accessdate=2008-07-12] The Olympic Qualifying Tournament began on July 14, 2008, the team received a "bye" on its first day. Puerto Rico's debut came the following day, defeating Cameroon 81-72, advancing to the second round due to a loss that the African team suffered during the first day of competition. On its second game the team lost to Croatia. In the quarterfinals Puerto Rico defeated Slovenia 81-70. [cite book| title=Puerto Rico derrota a Eslovenia| publisher="El Vocero"| language=Spanish| date=2008-07-18] The team didn't qualify to the Olympics, after losing to Greece in the semifinals and Germany in the tournament's bronze medal game. [cite book| title=Con la cabeza en alto Puerto Rico| author=José R. Ortúzar| publisher="El Vocero"| language=Spanish| date=2008-07-21]


This Olympic cycle began with the 2008 CentroBasket competition, which was classificatory to the 2009 FIBA Americas Tournament. This event was scheduled to take place before the Olympic Qualifying Tournament, but due to time constraints it was postponed. A group of prospects was included in the roster to replace Peter John Ramos and Ricky Sachez, who were injured. Among those included was Angel Daniel Vasallo, who played as a small forward in Virginia Tech. In the first game of the tournament, Puerto Rico defeated Costa Rica. [cite web| url=http://www.primerahora.com/noticia/baloncesto/acciondeportiva/los_boricuas_arrancaron_con_una_comoda_salsa/224204| title=Los Boricuas arrancaron con una cómoda ‘salsa’| author=José Ayala Gordián| publisher="Primera Hora"| language=Spanish| date=2008-08-28| accessdate=2008-08-28] In the other two games of the first round, the team defeated Cuba and Panama. [cite book| title=Puerto Rico vence a Cuba| publisher="El Vocero"| language=Spanish| date=2008-08-29] [cite book| title=Luce Barea para mantener invicto de Puerto Rico| publisher="El Vocero"| language=Spanish| date=2008-08-30] During the course of the event, Carlos Arroyo and Larry Ayuso were forced to rest a game due to injuries. [cite web| url=http://www.primerahora.com/noticia/baloncesto/acciondeportiva/arroyo_no_jugara_hoy_tras_golpe_en_ojo/225166| title=Arroyo no jugará hoy tras golpe en ojo| author=Alex Figueroa Cancel| publisher="Primera Hora"| language=Spanish| date=2008-08-29| accessdate=2008-08-30] In the semifinals, the team scored a win over the Dominican Republic. [cite web| url=http://www.primerahora.com/noticia/baloncesto/acciondeportiva/puerto_rico_va_por_el_oro/225462| title=Puerto Rico va por el oro| publisher="Primera Hora"| language=Spanish| date=2008-08-21| accessdate=2008-08-31] Puerto Rico won the gold medal by defeating the United States Virgin Islands in the finals, with scores of 70-87.


During most of the 1980s and up until the late 1990s, the team wore a solid color uniform, with accent lines and the word "Puerto Rico" written in stylized cursive. Nowadays, the national team's uniform resembles a Puerto Rican flag, but also includes the usual Puerto Rico sign in cursive. The uniforms are red or blue for "visitor" status, and white for "host."

Performance at FIBA World Championships

Puerto Rico has participated in all of the FIBA Americas Championships and has gone all the way to the semifinals in all but the 1984 and 2005 tournaments. It has a total of 8 medals.

Puerto Rico is the most dominant team in the CentroBasket Championships, having participated in all of them but 1967 and obtaining a medal in all.

Current national team

The side who is representing Puerto Rico at the FIBA World Olympic Qualifying Tournament for Men 2008 is composed of:


name = Antaño
title = Past Rosters
style = width:80em;
group1 = 1959 World Championship
list1 = Juan "Pachin" Vicens • Juan Ramon "Johnny" Baez • Jose Angel Cestero • Johnny Rodriguez • Evelio Droz • John Morales • Jose Antonio Casillas • Martin Jimenez • Jose A. Ruano • Salvador Dijols (Coach: Victor Mario Perez)
group2 = 1960 Summer Olympic Games
list2 = Juan "Pachin" Vicens • Teofilo "Teo" Cruz • Evelio Droz • Juan Ramon "Johnny" Baez • Jose Angel Cestero • Jose Antonio Casillas • Johnny Rodriguez • Rafael Valle • Jose Santori • Angel Cancel • John Morales • Cesar Bocachica
group3 = 1963 World Championship
list3 = Juan "Pachin" Vicens • Juan Ramon "Johnny" Baez • Bill McCadney • Rafael Valle • Evelio Droz • Salvador Dijols • Eduardo Alvarez • Cesar Bocachica • Ramon Siragusa • Tomas Gutierrez • Angel Cancel • Armando Torres (Coach: Jose Garrige)
group4 = 1964 Summer Olympic Games
list4 = Teofilo "Teo" Cruz • Juan "Pachin" Vicens • Bill McCadney • Juan Ramon "Johnny" Baez • Tomas Gutierrez • Evelio Droz • Ruben Adorno • Angel Cancel • Martin Anza • Alberto Zamot • Jaime Frontera • Angel Garcia (Coach: Lou Rossini)
group5 = 1967 World Championship
list5 = Raymond Dalmau • Bill McCadney • Tomas Gutierrez • Angel Cancel • Rafael Rivera • Gustavo Mattei • Francisco Cordova • Mariano Ortiz • Alberto Zamot • Victor Cuevas • Adolfo Porrata • Richard Pietri (Coach: Jose Santori Coll)
group6 = 1968 Summer Olympic Games
list6 = Raymond Dalmau • Teofilo "Teo" Cruz • Bill McCadney • Joe Hatton • Ruben Adorno • Alberto Zamot • Angel Cancel • Tomas Gutierrez • Mariano Ortiz • Francisco Cordova • Jaime Frontera • Adolfo Porrata (Coach: Lou Rossini)
group7 = 1972 Summer Olympic Games
list7 = Teofilo "Teo" Cruz • Raymond Dalmau • Hector Blondet • Neftali Rivera • Ruben Rodriguez • Joe Hatton • Mariano Ortiz • Billy Baum • Earl Brown • Miguel Coll • Jimmy Thordsen • Ricardo Calzada (Coach: Gene Bartow)
group8 = 1974 World Championship
list8 = Teofilo "Teo" Cruz • Raymond Dalmau • Neftali Rivera • Hector Blondet • Ruben Rodriguez • Jimmy Thordsen • Mariano Ortiz • Michael Vicens • Ruben Montanez • Carlos Bermudez • Jose Pacheco • Luis Brignoni (Coach: Armandito Torres Ortiz)
group9 = 1976 Summer Olympic Games
list9 = Teofilo "Teo" Cruz • Raymond Dalmau • Neftali Rivera • Earl Brown • Hector Blondet • Jimmy Thordsen • Mariano Ortiz • Michael Vicens • Roberto "Bobby" Alvarez • Alfred Lee • Ruben Rodriguez • Luis Brignoni (Coach: Tom Nissalke)
group10 = 1978 World Championship
list10 = Raymond Dalmau • Neftali Rivera • Ruben Rodriguez • Angel "Cachorro" Santiago • Steven Sewell • Hector Olivencia, Willie Quinones • Georgie Torres • Carlos Bermudez • Mario Morales • J.Villet • O.Rodriguez (Coach: Victor Ojeda)
group11 = 1986 World Championship
list11 = Federico "Fico" Lopez • Ramon Rivas • Jerome Mincy • Angelo Cruz • Felix Rivera • Edgar de Leon • Wesley Correa • Jose Sosa • Orlando Febres • Frankie Torruellas • Mario Morales • Francisco de Leon (Coach: Angel Cancel)
group12 = 1988 Summer Olympic Games
list12 = Federico "Fico" Lopez • Jose "Piculin" Ortiz • Ramon Ramos • Jerome Mincy • Ramon Rivas • Angelo Cruz • Edgar de Leon • Mario Morales • Roberto Rios • Francisco de Leon • Raymond Gausse • Vicente Ithier (Coach: Armandito Torres Ortiz)
group13 = 1990 World Championship
list13 = Federico "Fico" Lopez • Jose "Piculin" Ortiz • Ramon Rivas • Jerome Mincy • Angelo Cruz • Edgar de Leon • James Carter • Francisco de Leon • Georgie Torres • Raymond Gausse • Jose Agosto • Orlando Marrero (Coach: Raymond Dalmau)
group14 = 1992 Summer Olympic Games
list14 = Jose "Piculin" Ortiz • Federico "Fico" Lopez • Eddie Casiano • Ramon Rivas • Jerome Mincy • Edgar de Leon • James Carter • Mario Morales • Richard Soto • Raymond Gausse • Edwin Pellot • Javier Antonio Colon (Coach: Raymond Dalmau)
group15 = 1994 World Championship
list15 = Jose "Piculin" Ortiz • Federico "Fico" Lopez • Eddie Casiano • Edgar de Leon • Jerome Mincy • James Carter • Orlando Vega • Felix Perez • Ruben Colon • Dean Borges • Javier Colon • Luis Ramon Allende (Coach: Carlos Morales)
group16 = 1996 Summer Olympic Games
list16 = Jose "Piculin" Ortiz • Ramon Rivas • Daniel Santiago • Pablo Alicea • Edgar Padilla • Jerome Mincy • Richard Soto • Heriberto "Eddie" Rivera • George "Georgie" Torres • Carmelo Travieso • Eugenio Soto • Luis Joel Curbelo (Coach: Carlos Morales)
group17 = 1998 World Championship
list17 = Jose "Piculin" Ortiz • Eddie Casiano • Orlando Vega • Daniel Santiago • Jerome Mincy • James Carter • Eugenio Soto • Edgar de Leon • Carmelo Travieso • Eddin Santiago • Javier Colon • Rolando Hourruitiner (Coach: Carlos Morales)
group18 = 2002 World Championship
list18 = Carlos Arroyo • Elias "Larry" Ayuso • Daniel Santiago • Jose "Piculin" Ortiz • Rick Apodaca • Jerome Mincy • Christian Dalmau • Raymond "Richie" Dalmau • Rolando Hourruitiner • Luis Ramon Allende • Antonio Latimer • Felix Javier Perez (Coach: Julio Toro)
group19 = 2004 Summer Olympic Games
list19 = Carlos Arroyo • Elias "Larry" Ayuso • Jose "Piculin" Ortiz • Daniel Santiago • Eddie Casiano • Rick Apodaca • Christian Dalmau • Sharif Karim Fajardo • Peter John Ramos • Roberto Jose "Bobby Joe" Hatton • Rolando Hourruitiner • Jorge Luis Rivera (Coach: Julio Toro)
group20 = 2006 World Championship
list20 = Carlos Arroyo • Elias "Larry" Ayuso • Daniel Santiago • Rick Apodaca • Christian Dalmau • Peter John Ramos • Roberto Jose "Bobby Joe" Hatton • Antonio "Puruco" Latimer • Carmelo Antrone Lee • Filiberto Isaac Rivera • Manuel Antonio Narvaez • Angelo Luis Reyes (Coach: Julio Toro)


External links

* [http://www.fbpur.com Federación de Baloncesto de Puerto Rico]

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