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Pacheco-Ortiz Leads Puerto Rico's U19 Into FIBA World Cup

June 30, 2017
|  Lynchburg, Va.
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Liberty men's basketball guard Georgie Pacheco-Ortiz is gearing up to lead the U19 Puerto Rico national team as they gear up to compete at the FIBA U19 Basketball World Cup 2017. The tournament is set to begin on July 1st and go through the July 9th in Cairo, Egypt.

"It means a lot to me playing for my little island," Pacheco-Ortiz said. "I always thank God for giving me another opportunity to represent my island."

Puerto Rico will be in Group B along with Egypt, Germany and Lithuania. Puerto Rico's first game is set for July 1st against the host, Egypt.

Pacheco-Ortiz will be heavily leaned on entering the FIBA World Cup as he is one of two captains for Puerto Rico, along with Leandro Allende who plays his collegiate basketball at the Citadel. Pacheco-Ortiz has established himself as one of the rising stars in Puerto Rico having help lead Puerto Rico qualify for the FIBA U17 World Cup back in 2014 for the first time in the Puerto Rico's history.

"I am very excited to have the chance to throw on my island's colors for the second time in the FIBA World Cup," Pacheco-Ortiz added. "We are ready for our first game against Egypt and we will take it from there."

The native of Ponce, Puerto Rico enters the FIBA World Cup after an exceptional freshman campaign where he was named to the Big South All-Freshmen team. As a freshman, Pacheco-Ortiz excelled as the floor general, posting the best assist-to-turnover ratio during conference games with a 3.4 ratio. For the season, Pacheco-Ortiz averaged 8.6 points, 3.1 rebounds, 2.6 assists while leading the team in total minutes played.

Pacheco-Ortiz is not only representing Liberty but also the Big South as he is the only player from the conference to participate in the tournament. Past players that have participated in this prestigious tournament include Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors, Puerto Rico's JJ Barea from the Dallas Mavericks and former NBA Champion Pau Gasol from Spain.