USA 3x3 Teams Improve To 4-0 At The FIBA World Championship
August 24, 2012
The USA Basketball men’s and women’s 3x3 teams each went 2-0 in day two to remain perfect and improve to 4-0 in preliminary round play at the inaugural FIBA 3x3 World Championships for Men and Women in Athens, Greece.
The USA Men’s 3x3 World Championship Team (4-0) opened Friday's play with a 13-9 victory over previously unbeaten England (2-1) and followed that up with a 15-14 win over Lebanon. The USA Women’s 3x3 World Championship Team (4-0) continued to steamroll its opponents, earning both victories before the 10-minute game clock expired as the first team to 21 points wins. The women posted a 21-14 win over previously undefeated Bulgaria (2-1) and closed out day two's action with 21-12 decision against Argentina (2-2).
“It was a great second day for our teams as they both went 2-0 again. It turned out to be a tight game for the men against Lebanon, we were up five with two minutes left and they came back so we’ve got to do a better job with our time management,” said USA Basketball 3x3 Director Travis Johnson.
“On the women’s side, they did great against Bulgaria in their first game, played very solid. In the second game I think we kind of underestimated Argentina and it was tight in the beginning. But as the women have been doing this whole tournament they had a nice little run at the end to win the game.”
The 2012 USA 3x3 Men’s Team consists of Adetayo Adesanya (Naperville, Ill.), Ira Brown (Corsicana, Texas), Tyree Hardge (Surprise, Ariz.) and Allen DuBois Williams (Tempe, Ariz.); while the 2012 USA 3x3 Women’s Team is comprised of Skylar Diggins (University of Notre Dame/South Bend, Ind.), Bria Hartley (University of Connecticut/ North Babylon, N.Y.), Chiney Ogwumike (Stanford University/Cypress, Texas) and Ann Strother (Castle Rock, Colo.).
In 3x3 basketball, the winner is the first team to reach 21 points or whoever is leading after 10 minutes. The USA women in their first four games have won each game by reaching the 21-point mark.
“I think we’re just a group of talented players. You have three players that play NCAA basketball and you have Ann (Strother) who was a professional player. We can all score in a variety of ways and so that’s hard for teams to stop. They have to come out and make sure they guard each player so we try to make sure we get to the basket every time,” said Hartley about her team’s offensive prowess.
“I think we compliment each other. You have me and Sky (Diggins) who are like playmakers, then you have Ann (Strothers) who is a shooter, then Chiney (Ogwumike) who can bang inside. So you have a bunch of people with different types of games but we all compliment each other. We can shoot it and we can bang it inside as well, so it’s good to have a variety of options when you’re playing these teams,” added Hartley.
The U.S. men have been chalking up their wins thanks to defensive effort and balanced scoring.
“We try to take pride in our defense and being able to take care of our match-ups one-on-one no matter who we’re guarding,” said the 6-10 Adesanya. “The experience has been phenomenal. Just being able to have the chance to play on this stage is awesome, great. I feel so blessed to be a part of it and my teammates feel the same, especially having the chance to represent the USA.”
The inaugural FIBA 3x3 World Championship features 24 men’s teams and 24 women’s national teams divided into four preliminary round groups of six teams each. The U.S. men close out preliminary play Saturday against Romania, and the USA women will conclude their preliminary play versus Netherlands (0-2). The top four finishing teams from each group advance to the Eight Finals to be played on Saturday, with winners advancing to the quarterfinals that will also be played Saturday. The semifinals, and the bronze and gold medal games, will be played Aug. 26.
All the games on Court 1 will be streamed live online daily at www.ert.gr/webtv/web-tv-live/ert-websport1-live, and will include the USA men’s final preliminary round game against Romania on Aug. 25 (11:00 a.m. EDT). The schedule for quarterfinals, semifinals and finals will not been finalized until after completion of the preliminary round.
In addition to the men and women’s tournaments, 14 nations will participate in the mixed tournament, in which each team will be comprised of two men and two women from 14 countries in a knockout format with the first two rounds played on Aug. 24 and the finals on Aug. 26. The U.S. is not competing in the mixed competition.
Also featured during the weekend will be a skills contest for women, a dunk contest for men and a shootout contest for both men and women. The skills qualifying round will be held Aug. 24, while the qualifying dunk and shootout contest rounds will be held on Aug. 25. All finals will take place Aug. 26. Diggins is representing the U.S. in the skills contest and advance Friday into Saturday’s skills contest finals. Brown will be the USA’s representative for the dunk contest; Diggins, Hartley and Strother will participate in the women’s shootout; and Adesanya, Hardge and Williams will compete in the men’s shootout.
Under FIBA’s 3x3 rules, each game consists of one 10-minute period, with one 1:00 overtime period if needed. If the game is still tied after the first overtime, a second and final overtime is played and the first team to score two points wins. The team leading after completion of playing time, or the first team to score 21 points is declared the winner. Shots made outside the arc are awarded two points, shots made inside the arc are awarded one point, and each made free throw is worth one point. Additionally, a 12-second shot clock is utilized.
More from Bria Hartley:
Talk about the team is coming together and how you’re feeling out there?
It’s been great. I think we’re really coming together great. With Alyssa (Thomas) not being able to play and Ann (Strother) coming in, we’re all getting used to playing with her. When we’ve gone out there we’ve been starting off really well in the games we’ve been playing. We’re just having a lot of fun out here and making sure we’re coming out here and dominating each game.
Against Argentina is seemed the focus was to get the ball inside?
Definitely. When we got down early I went into the game and I said just keep getting it inside because I think Chiney (Ogwumike) is our best weapon, she’s a beast inside and those are easy points.
You’ve been getting out and seeing some of the sights of Athens, has it been fun?
It’ been really fun. This is a beautiful, beautiful country. From when we were landing and saw the landscape and everything around the city, our hotel, we have a pool on the roof and you can see the whole view of the city. It’s a beautiful country and we’ve really been enjoying our time here.
How’s the heat?
It’s pretty hot; I must say it’s pretty hot. When it gets too hot we go up to the pool or try to stay inside (note-the 3x3 games are being played in the evening).
In the four games the team offensively has been flowing well. You’ve hit the 21-point mark in all four of your games. Can you talk about the efficiency of the offense?
I think we’re just a group of talented players. You have three players that play NCAA basketball and you have Ann (Strother) who is a professional player. We can all score in a variety of ways and so that’s hard for teams to stop. They have to come out and make sure they guard each player so we try to make sure we get to the basket every time.
The four of you seem to really compliment each other well.
Yeah, I think we compliment each other. You have me and Sky (Diggins) who are like playmakers, then you have Ann (Strother) who is a shooter, then Chiney (Ogwumike) who can bang inside, so you have a bunch of people with different types of games but we all compliment each other. We can shoot it and we can bang it inside as well so it’s good to have a variety of options when you’re playing these teams.
Has fatigue been a factor in these games at all?
It’s a quick game and you do get tired, but I think cause were so use to playing 40 minutes a game it’s not as bad. You have that fourth player so you’re able to sub and when someone needs a sub you just raise your hand. We rotate well, so it’s not as bad as it would be in a 40-minute game.
Athens seems like a great setting for this event.
FIBA and Athens have done a great job with this. This is a great site, you have a lot of people watching the games so it’s nice to have everyone out here and seeing everyone competing for their country.
Some of the games are streamed live online (http://www.greece2012.fiba.com/pages/eng/fe/12/3x3/wc/p/index.html), do you have family friends watching?
We all have Twitter so I put it (the streaming link) on my Twitter and I’ve talked to my parents and some of my friends and I know a lot of them have been watching the games and some of the people have commented on my Twitter – I think we have a pretty good fan base.
More from Adetayo Adeasanya
The game versus England got off to a little bit of a slow start for the U.S. Can you talk about the game?
We knew England was going to be a pretty strong team, but I definitely had faith in all of our guys. We try to take pride in our defense and being able to take care of our match-ups one-on-one no matter who we’re guarding.
After the first couple of minutes it seemed like the U.S. settled in and made it difficult for them to score.
Yeah and that’s what we plan on doing every game.
How’s this experience been for you so far?
The experience has been phenomenal. Just being able to have the chance to play on this stage is awesome, great. I feel so blessed to be a part of it and my teammates feel the same, especially having the chance to represent the USA.
Have you been able to take in some of the sights around Athens?
A couple of days before the competition we took a day to sort of see the sights, go to the market and things like that just so we got the whole experience while being here.
How’s the heat?
The heat to be honest is nothing, because living in Phoenix, Arizona kind of prepares you for this.
How’s this been as a 3x3 experience? Has it been different?
It’s definitely different. There’s definitely a lot of passion, a little bit of pressure, but we know we really want to represent the USA well so we’re definitely trying to put everything on the table here. This is not just a regular game so to speak, this is us trying to represent the country in the best fashion we can. Right now we just want to do what we have to do to win and that’s what we’re trying to accomplish.
You all seem to be complimenting each other well. In the England game Tyree did a nice job of coming in and giving a little spark, and other games it’s been other people.
Yeah definitely, he has that game; he has that capability. He definitely has all the tools to do that but in reality everybody does. In reality we all feel each one of us is capable of taking care of an offensive load. If somebody goes to work we’ll keep giving him the ball and keep going to that person. That’s kind of the chemistry we have. When we played Lebanon that was the same type of thing. I think I started off with a pretty strong first quarter of the game and then we just kept sharing the ball. It’s the same old story, whoever wants to step up or whoever has the match-up advantage that’s who we keep going to, we just read it.
This seems like a great setting, a fun atmosphere.
To be honest, I was amazed when we got on the actual site where we are playing ball at. They did a wonderful, fantastic job putting this whole thing together. And the view, you only see the main court (on the streaming of games), there are three other courts around that main court and they are set up with great lighting, you can tell they really put some work together to make this happen. This is a great turnout, a great turnout!