A Guide to the Puerto Rico Men’s Basketball Team

16 Aug 2023


The Puerto Rico men’s basketball team has a proud basketball track record among the competing Americas nations. They’ve taken part in nine Olympic tournaments and 14 FIBA Basketball World Cups. While they are yet to claim a medal at either tournament, it wouldn’t feel like a World Cup if PUR were not participating. 

At the regional level, they’re a powerhouse. ‘The Boricuas’ have won three FIBA AmeriCup gold medals, two golds at the Pan American Games and 11 gold medals at Centrobasket. 


Discover everything there is to know about the Puerto Rico men’s basketball team with the help of this comprehensive guide from the experts at Courtside 1891. 

2024 Olympics - Men's Basketball

The Puerto Rico men's basketball team are confirmed as one of the 24 nations that will compete in the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournaments 2024, which you can stream live with Courtside 1891. The tournaments are currently scheduled for July 2-7 2024. 

Four places remain to make up the twelve-team field that will compete at the 2024 Summer Olympic Games. The Olympic basketball events will take place between 27th July and 10th of August 2024. The nations currently confirmed to participate are France (host), South Sudan, Serbia, Canada, Japan, Germany, Australia and the United States.

Puerto Rico, Brazil, the Dominican Republic and Mexico advanced from the Americas region, following positive results at the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup. They will be joined by the Bahamas, who shocked Argentina in the FIBA Olympic Pre-Qualifying Tournament in La Banda, Argentina.

From Europe, the competing Olympic qualifying tournament nations are Croatia, Lithuania, Slovenia, Lithuania, Italy, Spain, Greece, Georgia, Finland, Poland and Montenegro.

Egypt, Angola, Côte d'Ivoire and Cameroon are the competing African nations.

From Asia and Oceania, the teams that advanced were Lebanon, the Philippines, New Zealand and Bahrain.

How Did Puerto Rico Do At The FIBA World Cup 2023? 

​​Here are the top stats from Puerto Rico's FIBA Basketball World Cup campaign: 

  • Final Standing: 12th
  • Results: Played 5 Won 3 Lost 2 
  • Top Points Scorer: Tremont Waters 101 PTS (20.2 PPG)
  • Top Assist Provider: Tremont Waters 45 AST (9 APG)
  • Most Efficient Player: Tremont Waters 20.8 EPG

Ranking in the top dozen teams secured Central & South American bragging rights for PUR. Group Phase One wins over South Sudan and China set up a rival clash with (then) undefeated Dominican Republic in the Second Phase. A gripping game that saw 10 lead changes, was tied at 95-95 in the final minute before Tremont Waters and John Holland combined to snatch a historic victory. Tremont Waters went off for 37 points while Karl Anthony Towns poured in 39 points. The free extended highlights of this game are linked below and are well worth another watch!

Dominican Republic v Puerto Rico - Extended Highlights (register for free to watch)

Team Presentation Video

Keen to learn more about the Puerto Rico basketball team? Watch this Team Discovery Video, which reveals the side’s greatest achievements and legendary players. 

Team Presentation - Puerto Rico - FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 

Puerto Rico Basketball World Cup Qualification

Puerto Rico qualified for FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 with relative ease. 

In the first qualification phase, they were drawn in Group D, alongside the United States, Mexico and Cuba. Here, they stuttered to a 3-3 record that was only good enough for third in the group. Thankfully, their progress was never under any real threat. This is because Cuba ended their campaign with an 0-6 record. 

In the second qualification phase, the Puerto Rico basketball team turned up the heat. Drawn in Group F alongside the United States, Mexico, Brazil, Uruguay and Colombia, they went 5-1, only losing an away game against Uruguay. This meant they finished qualification with an 8-4 record, which was good enough for second in the group. 

Best World Cup Qualifying Plays 

Throughout qualifying, Puerto Rico was anchored by Christopher Ortiz and Ismael Romero, who played in 12 and 11 games respectively. Both scored more than 100 points, while Romero also grabbed 70 rebounds. 

Other notable contributions came from Tremont Waters, who scored an amazing buzzer-beater against Brazil and Jordan Howard, who ended the campaign with a team-high cumulative +/- of +40.

Jose Alvarado was only available to feature in two games due to his NBA commitments. However, in games against America and Mexico, he lit up the boxscore. Across two games, he scored 56 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and dished out 11 assists. 

Keen to see the team’s highlights? Check out this video of their Top 10 plays from qualification. The aforementioned game-winning buzzer-beater from Tremont Waters is definitely worth the wait at #1! 

Best Plays - Puerto Rico - FIBA Basketball World Cup Qualifiers 2023

Current Star Players

Puerto Rico's FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 squad included star names include Tremont Waters, Ismael Romero and Christopher Ortiz, who were among the highest-rated players for Puerto Rico at last summer's FIBA AmeriCup and were also crucial during qualifying. 

Waters was particularly influential during Puerto Rico’s World Cup qualifying campaign, where he played in six games and averaged more than 17 points. He memorably erupted for 29 points and handed out six assists in a 75-72 home triumph against Brazil! 

Meanwhile, Romero, a true warrior for The Boricuas, had 18 points in the team’s second victory over Brazil and Ortiz underlined his importance to the cause with a game-high 21 points.

These three mainstays will be joined by George Conditt, who has been an important player for Puerto Rico since the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Serbia ahead of the Tokyo Games, where he averaged 14.5 points per game. At the AmeriCup, he averaged 12.5 points and 6.3 rebounds.

However, one star name missing from the Puerto Rico squad was New Orleans Pelicans guard Jose Alvarado, who has just enjoyed a solid sophomore year in the NBA. A spark player off the bench, Alvarado is known for his sneaky steals and has earned the nickname ‘Grand Theft Alvarado’. 

Although he was hoping to make his World Cup debut with the squad, Alvarado suffered from a tibia injury that cost him the final part of the NBA season and he has sadly not recovered in time. He showed his support for the squad by sitting courtside during Puerto Rico’s recent World Cup warm-up game victory over the Dominican Republic.

Legends of the Team 

On the streets of Puerto Rico, one basketball player is revered above all others: J.J. Barea. 

Barea announced himself on the international stage in 2006, at the Central American and Caribbean Games, where Puerto Rico captured the gold medal. In the final against Panama, he drilled the decisive three-pointer with only 14 seconds remaining. After the final buzzer, he was named as the tournament’s MVP. 

Over the next decade, Barea became a vital player for the national side. He appeared at two FIBA Basketball World Cups, and in 2014, he was the World Cup’s top scorer in terms of points per game. Across five contests, he poured in 110 points. He was also named as the Centrobasket MVP twice, in 2008 and 2016.

Domestically, Borea was also a star. After going undrafted in 2006, he signed a multi-year deal with the Dallas Mavericks. He then spent 11 seasons with the franchise across two spells, claiming an NBA title in 2011. 

Historical World Cup Performance

2023 marked Puerto Rico’s 15th appearance at the FIBA Basketball World Cup. Since they made their tournament debut in 1959, they’ve only failed to qualify twice (1970 and 1982). 

But, Puerto Rico has never appeared on the podium at the World Cup. To date, their best performance came in 1990, when they finished fourth. 

Previous Successes and Tournament Wins

It’s a similar story for Puerto Rico at the Summer Olympics. Here, Basketball Puerto Rico has made nine Olympic appearances since 1960, without ever placing on the podium. Again, their best result was fourth, which they achieved in 1964. 

Puerto Rico has enjoyed a great amount of success at regional tournaments. At the FIBA AmeriCup, they’ve won 10 medals since 1980, including three golds. They’ve also won two gold medals at the Pan American Games and a whopping 11 Centrobasket gold medals. 

How to Watch Puerto Rico Men's Basketball 

With Courtside 1891, worldwide fans can watch Puerto Rico compete in the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournaments (FOQTs) 2024. We stream every game of FIBA international tournaments as well as other competitions from around the world. 

As FIBA’s premium streaming partner for the World Cup, Courtside 1891 provided access to every 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup game! Watch the competition's biggest games and best moments on-demand on our FIBA Basketball World Cup page. 

The best way to make sure that you never miss a single second of the upcoming action is to download our app, which is available on the App Store and Google Play, or sign up to our website platform. Please be aware that, due to broadcasting rights and restrictions, access to some games might be restricted depending on your location. See our where-to-watch page for full details of upcoming competitions.

Looking for the latest results from the world of basketball? Head over to the Courtside 1891 Game Center. Here you’ll also find matchup times in your country as well as easy-to-access game highlights you can watch when you register with Courtside 1891.