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Puerto Rican national basketball team

The Puerto Rican National Basketball Team (or Puerto Rican National Basketball Selection) is a team that is selected by the Puerto Rican Basketball Federation to compete in major international events in representation of Puerto Rico. The team is usually ensembled with twelve of the best BSN players.

The team has participated in many international competitions, such as the Olympic Games, Pan American Games, Goodwill Games, Centrobasket, Central American and Caribbean Games, World championship of Basketball, Pre Olympics and others.

Variants of the team include the women's national team, and sub-21 teams for each men and women.

History

During the 1970s, the team had a varying degree of success on these competitions.

The 1980s, it could be said, were the team's golden years. They earned gold medals at the 1983 Venezuela Pan American Games, the 1986 Dominican Republic Central American and Caribbean games, and the 1989 Mexico Centrobasket. After that triumph, the Puerto Rican players returned home to a large welcoming at the Luis Munoz Marin International Airport in San Juan. They also obtained a Bronze medal at the 1987 Pre Olympics 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.

In 1987, the men's sub-21 national team also brought national pride to basketball fans in Puerto Rico, winning the gold medal at the sub-21 Centrobasket, held in Caguas, Puerto Rico, defeating the Cuban team by a score of 94–78 in the championship game.

During the 1990s, their success slowed somewhat; nevertheless, they qualified for the 1992 Barcelona, Spain Olympics and they reached the second round there, having the misfortune of facing the Dream Team in their first game of the elimination round. They finished in eighth place in Barcelona.

In 1996, they 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.

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 by recording only the third loss in Olympic competition for the U.S. team, and the first since NBA players were allowed to compete. The other team to defeat the U.S. has been the Soviet Union in the 1972 gold medal game and the 1988 semifinals.

Uniform

During most of the 1980s and up until the late 1990s, the team wore a uniform with the word Puerto Rico written in cursive, styled in the way that the NBA's Clippers wore their name on their uniforms at the time. The uniforms were red for road tournaments, and white for tournaments where they were the hosts. Nowadays, the national team's uniform reflects the Puerto Rican flag.

Partial list of notable players on the team








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