In the inaugural Olympic 3×3 basketball final, the USA beat the Russians 18-15 to win the women’s title.

Twin sisters Evgeniia and Olga Frolina won silver on their 24th birthday but the potent Americans, stacked with WNBAers, won out.

ike she had all Olympics, the tournament joint top scorer Kelsey Plum aggressively drove to the rim to kick-start USA before the towering Stefanie Dolson took over to finish with 7 points and 9 rebounds.

Having scraped past France in a nail-biting semi-final, USA capped off a near flawless campaign with their only loss being against Japan in their final pool game having already locked up a semi-final berth.

“From day one, it was tough competition,” said Allisha Gray of the USA. “I mean you couldn’t overlook anybody. Every team was great. I mean they are not the same team, even though we beat them the first time. They are a completely different team the second time. So overall, I mean congrats to Russia as well, they are a great team. I am just glad we were able to execute the game plan and came out with a victory.

“3×3 is actually very fun. This is my first time doing it. So I mean just the experience has been great. 3×3 allows you to let your hair down and play and have fun. I enjoyed every minute of it.

“3×3 is just so energetic. The whole game is entertaining so even without fans, I mean there was people in the arena but, overall it is just energetic throughout the whole and fun overall.”

Latvia edged the Russians 21-18 in the men’s final for gold, just squeezing out the decisive score from Karlis Lasmanis

“We proved yesterday when we beat the Belgians that our scouting and our psychology works,” Agnis Cavars said. “Tonight, same with the Russians. After we played them in the group stage we knew what to expect tonight.

“But also luck was on our side with that crazy shot that Karlis made to finish the game. It was like three seconds in the air. I watched when it was released and I was just, like, ‘That’s it, we’re the first guys to win Olympic 3×3′.”

Tournament top scorer Lasmanis sank a huge two from the left wing to cap his game-high 10 points but a confident Russia came out scorching hot from deep to gain the early edge before Latvia fought back through star duo Lasmanis and Nauris Miezis.

Fittingly, the last game of the tournament went to the wire with both teams going shot for shot and the drama heightened by Latvia sharpshooter Edgars Krumins hobbling off with an ankle injury.

Like he has done many times on the FIBA 3×3 World Tour, Lasmanis was the hero with a brilliant two to win gold for Latvia as he was mobbed on the court by his jubilant teammates.

Russia had been unfancied coming in despite being the No.2 seed and boasting a slew of young talent, who made a smooth transition from the U23 category, after winning the FIBA 3×3 U23 World Cup together in 2019.

The silver medallists will be forever remembered for delivering the shock of the Olympics with a stunning 21-10 defeat of No.1 seed Serbia in the first men’s semi-final, with their star shooter Alexander Zuev outscoring the entire Serbian team (11-10).

In the men’s bronze medal game, Serbia regrouped with a convincing 21-10 victory over Belgium, whose fairy tale run ended after a spectacular rise in 3×3 this year. While China took women’s bronze with a nail-biting 16-14 victory over France to spark memorable celebrations for the FIBA 3×3 World Cup 2019 champions.

The dynamic Lili Wang, who was the joint top scorer in Tokyo, was the difference with 9 points, while 3×3 star Migna Touré contributed 8 points for France.

Final standings

1. Latvia
2. ROC
3. Serbia
4. Belgium
5. Netherlands
6. Japan
7. Poland
8. China

1. USA
2. Russia
3. China
4. France
5. Japan
6. Italy
7. Romania
8. Mongolia

Share and Enjoy:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • MySpace
  • Print

You must be logged in to post a comment Login