Puerto Rico beat Jamaica, 88-82 in the group stage of the 2013 FIBA Americas Championship to remain perfect in the tournament which serves as a qualifier for the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup in Spain.
2013 FIBA Americas Championship
The Puerto Ricans led by 15 points at halftime but lost composure and the lead as the Jamaicans rode a 29-15 third quarter to cut down the advantage to 1 point going into the final canto.
However, Puerto Rico regained their bearings just in time behind the efforts of Renaldo Balkman (20 points and 9 rebounds); J.J. Barea (24 points) and Elias Ayuso (17 points) and hacked out the win.
Jamaica was led by Samardo Samuels with 24 points and Weyinmi Rose with 17 points.
With their fourth win in as many games, Puerto Rico advanced to the next round as the leader in Group A. Meanwhile, Jamaica ended up at 0-3 and will battle Brazil (0-3) for the fourth and final spot to avoid elimination.
In other games, Uruguay (2-1) defeated Brazil, 79-73 and Mexico (3-0) beat Dominican Republic (1-2), 85-61. Both winners join Puerto Rico and Canada as the early qualifiers for the next round.
The top four teams after the tournament will automatically qualify for the 2014 FIBA World Cup in Spain. Eight countries from three different continents have so far qualified: Angola, Egypt and Senegal from Africa; Australia and New Zealand from Oceania; Iran and Philippines from Asia.
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