The Virgin Islands (ISV) Women’s National Basketball team made history at the San Salvador 2023 Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games in El Salvador when they upset the top-seeded Puerto Rico team 61-60 in a nail-biter, which guarantees a medal for Team ISV.
Breaking Records: Team ISV’s Unprecedented Triumph Over Puerto Rico
The historic win marks the first time in 57 years that Team ISV has handed a loss to Puerto Rico’s senior women’s squad, and it also ends the career drought for the Virgin Islands, as neither the men’s or women’s basketball teams have ever earned a medal at the CAC games.
Team ISV is ranked 40th internationally by the world’s governing entity (FIBA), but the determined underdogs dealt a major upset to the 10th-ranked Puerto Ricans behind four players contributing double digits in points.
Key Players: Virgin Islands’ Basketball Champions Making Their Mark
Natalie Kleemann-Day led the team with 17 points and the duo of Imani Tate and J-Naya Ephraim both scored 15 points while Anisha George put up 11 points. Lanese Bough added three to the team total.
Those five scorers for Team ISV resulted in 34% field goal shooting compared to Puerto Rico’s 25% was the deciding factor as both teams basically mirrored each other in defensive stats.
More Than Just Basketball: Virgin Islands’ Achievements at the CAC Games
Other CAC action for Team ISV saw five swimmers enter into the finals for their events behind personal bests and VI records. Beach Volleyball also showed their grit in the sands as both the men’s and women’s teams attained their highest finishes in CAC competition. Virgin Islands sailors will continue competition on Wednesday, because of light wind conditions.
More than 50 athletes will go for the bling during the San Salvador 2023 CAC games.