Canada beats Puerto Rico, qualifies for FIBA women's worlds
Will play for the gold medal on Saturday
Canada's women's basketball team defeated Puerto Rico 73-48, and will play Cuba for the gold medal at the FIBA Americas championship.
With the win, Canada also earns a spot at the 2014 world championship in Turkey.
Kim Gaucher led Canada to its third straight trip to the world championship with 14 points, 11 rebounds and three assists.
Though she's pleased with the result, the veteran of Canada's women's program knows the win is just a step toward the team's ultimate goal.
"It feels great, but it feels like we're not done yet," said Gaucher. "We came here to get the gold, not just to qualify so it feels like we still have a job to do right now.
"We truly feel like we're a team on the rise and we're a force to be reckoned with in women's basketball. To continue what we've been doing in the last few years, we knew we couldn't just come here and not play our best and not qualify ... We feel like we're good enough to be in the finals and that's what we came here to do."
Natalie Achonwa added 11 points for Canada, who will play for gold on Saturday.
"Us winning this game is almost a relief — so much excitement — but also a relief that we did qualify," Achonwa said. "To be able to get rid of the jitters of qualifying and now to play for the gold, it will be a great experience."
Carla Cortijo was the top scorer for Puerto Rico with 22 points.
Cuba, meanwhile, advanced to the final by upsetting Brazil 72-68 on Friday.
Clenia Noblet scored 18 points for the Cuban squad while Leidys Oquendo added another 17. With 15 points, Adriana Pinto was Brazil's top scorer.
The top three teams from the tournament advance to the 2014 championship. Puerto Rico will face Brazil on Saturday for the bronze medal, and the final spot in Istanbul.