Team USA Cruises to Dominant Victory Over Puerto Rico at Parapan American Games
The United States men’s wheelchair basketball team continued its stellar play at the 2023 Parapan American Games, demolishing Puerto Rico by a score of 81-44 on Tuesday. Led by Jorge Salazar’s game-high 16 points, Team USA improved to 2-0 in its quest to capture Parapan gold.
The Americans jumped out to a commanding 26-5 lead after the first quarter behind nine quick points from Brian Bell. Salazar added an efficient four points on perfect 2-2 shooting himself in the opening frame. The U.S. defense also set the tone early, forcing Puerto Rico into ill-advised shots outside the paint.
Salazar stayed hot in the second quarter with eight more points to pace the American attack. Trevon Jenifer provided hustle plays on both ends of the court for Team USA as well. At halftime, the United States led 46-15 and the rout was on.
Balanced scoring was the theme for the Americans, with eight different players getting on the scoreboard in the first half. The U.S. continued to share the ball effectively and never let its foot off the gas. Puerto Rico had no defensive answer for the array of American weapons.
Team USA took a 64-28 lead into the final period and the outcome was never in doubt. Salazar and Bell put the finishing touches on the wire-to-wire victory, with Salazar netting six straight points down the stretch after returning from a long rest on the bench.
The United States dominated the rebounding battle 45-31 and nearly doubled Puerto Rico’s assist total en route to another blowout Parapan win. After two games, it’s abundantly clear that Team USA has its sights set squarely on defending its Parapan gold medal from Lima 2019.