Puerto Rico survives South Sudan in 1st FIBA WC '23 OT thriller

Tremont Waters was one of four Puerto Rico players with a double-double. FIBA
By Ivan Saldajeno

QUEZON CITY--Puerto Rico got its rhythm back during the overtime period to get past gritty South Sudan, 101-96, at the start of Group B play in the FIBA World Cup on Saturday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

In the tournament's first game that needed overtime to decide the outcome, Puerto Rico began the extra session with a 7-0 run to go up, 88-81, with 3:27 remaining.

South Sudan still put up a fight down the stretch as the Chicago Bulls' Carlik Jones made three free throws with 3.6 seconds left to cut the lead down to three, 99-96.

However, Isaiah Pineiro shut the door on South Sudan after converting two charities with 2.5 seconds remaining for the final outcome.

Stephen Thompson led Puerto Rico with 21 points, 13 rebounds, four assists, and five steals, while Tremont Waters added 19 points, four rebounds, 11 assists, and three steals.

George Conditt put up 18 points, 11 rebounds, three blocks, and one steal, and Ismael Romero, who had been vindicated after missing two free throws with 0.3 seconds left in regulation that could have won the game for Puerto Rico outright, had 16 points on 8-of-9 field goals, 12 rebounds, three assists, and three steals.

Jones exploded for 35 points with six rebounds, 11 assists, and four steals for South Sudan.

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