Puerto Rico players hope victory brings joy to recovering island

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SYDNEY (AP) — Puerto Rico captain Pamela Rosado hopes the team’s first Women’s World Cup victory will bring some joy to the island that was ravaged by Hurricane Fiona.

The island’s government said about 62% of 1.47 million customers were left without power on Thursday, days after it closed. devastated by fiona. A third of customers, more than 400,000, did not yet have a water service.

“Yesterday’s win was everything for us, for Puerto Rico. This game is everything for the island,” Rosado said of the team. 82-58 victory against Bosnia and Herzegovina Thursday. “My family is fine, they have no water or electricity, but they continue. They enjoyed the victory so much to get some joy and pride.

Fiona’s destruction was made more devastating as Puerto Rico has yet to recover from Hurricane Maria, which knocked out the power grid in 2017. Five years later, more than 3,000 homes on the island still stand covered with blue tarpaulins.

“It’s super big. We’re lucky to be here with what’s going on there,” Puerto Rico guard Jen O’Neill said. “A lot of us have family members who have to deal with this.”

The team was winless in its three games at the 2018 World Cup, which took place a year after Maria’s blow. But now Puerto Rico has a chance to advance to the quarter-finals if they can win one of their next three matches.

“We’re taking one game at a time, but know that the game against Korea will be important,” Rosado said.

Puerto Rico wasn’t even supposed to take part in the tournament, but was given a spot when Russia weren’t allowed to compete after their invasion of Ukraine.

“We want to take this opportunity and show that we’re growing,” O’Neill said. “We are a small island surrounded by water and we are affected by everything.”

Puerto Rico struggled, as expected, against the United States, falling 106-42 on Friday. J he fate of the island has left an impression on American Breanna Stewart.

“To see Puerto Rico claim victory yesterday, they obviously play with a sense of pride, continuing to represent their country in every way possible,” Stewart said. “A lot of times around the world we go through unfortunate situations and Puerto Rico is going through that right now, but I think they turn sadness into strength.”

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More AP women’s basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/womens-basketball and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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