Puerto Rica’s superb surge continues into quarter-finals

Jay Asser 21:45 12/08/2014
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On a roll: A Puerto Rico player takes aim at three points en route to victory.

Puerto Rico have been the darlings of the FIBA U17 World Championship on their debut and they continued their impressive run with a 86-79 overtime win over Egypt in the round of 16 at Al Shabab Arena in Dubai.

After finishing the group stage with an unbeaten 3-0 record against international stalwarts Spain and Italy, as well as host country UAE, Puerto Rico began the knockout stage exactly where they left off.

A feisty Egypt delivered their best performance of the tournament as they searched for an elusive first win and led by three points with almost a minute remaining in the game, having battled back from a 19-point deficit and outscored Puerto Rico 34-22 in the second half.

However, the Latin Americans would prevail after sending the contest to overtime, led by their captain Ivan Gandia who scored a game-high 29 points.

Egypt changed the pace of the game with full-court pressure in the second half and centre Ahmed Khalaf was a beast in the paint, collecting 10 rebounds and swatting away eight shots to anchor the defence.

It wasn't enough for Egypt however and, with victory, Puerto Rico advance to the quarter-finals on Thursday, played at the Hamdan Sports Complex.

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