Puerto Rico's men – making the most of home advantage – and Australia’s women finished the opening day of the FIBA 3x3 World Cup qualifier with two wins out of two.
Playing in baseball's Hiram Bithorn Stadium, Puerto Rico’s male and female teams enjoyed huge support as they set about earning a place at the International Basketball Federation’s showcase event which will be held in Amsterdam from June 18 to 23.
With Dallas Mavericks point guard JJ Barea cheering from the stands, the men’s side beat Romania 21-14 and Australia 21-17.
Angel Matias scored eight points in both games, finishing the day as joint top scorer with Bikramjit Gill of Canada and Romania’s Radu Paliciuc.
Puerto Rico’s hopes are not so strong in the women’s category, but their side earned an opening 14-11 win over Estonia before losing 21-4 to Australia.
The Australians, who also beat Uganda 16-10, finished the day as one of two unbeaten women’s teams alongside Spain.
None of the 16 participating teams – chasing three qualifying spots – have yet been eliminated.
Action resumes tomorrow with the closing pool games.