USA Men’s And Women’s 3x3 U18 World Championship Teams Advance To Medal Round As No. 1 Seeds
Colorado Springs, Colo. • Sept. 29, 2012
The USA 3x3 U18 men’s and women’s teams each secured a No. 1 seed into the medal round quarterfinals during day two of the 2012 FIBA 3x3 U18 World Championship on Saturday at the José Caballero Sports Centre’s Amaya Valdemoro Pavilion in Alcobendas, Spain.
The USA 3x3 U18 men (6-1) won all three of its games on the day to finish atop Group D, while the USA 3x3 U18 women (4-1) split its two contests and gained the top seed due to point differential in a three-way tie with China and Lithuania.
In tomorrow’s medal-round quarterfinals, the U.S. men await the winner of Estonia (5-2) – Bulgaria (6-1) at 3 p.m. (9 a.m. EDT), while the women will play the winner of Estonia (3-2) – Czech Republic (4-1) at 2:30 p.m. (8:30 a.m. EDT).
“There was a lot of improvement for the men’s team today,” said Travis Johnson, USA Basketball 3x3 Programs Director. “It seemed like they got the jetlag out of their systems. They played strong in the first game, the second game was a tough win and then in the third game, they were struggling to get going until Brett hit two big shots to help then build some momentum.
“It was a tough loss for the women’s team, and it went down to the end,” Johnson continued. “Kaela (Davis) and Diamond (DeShields) fouled out as we were going into overtime, so it was Erica and Brianna against three players for China. Our girls played their hearts out, but now we have to move on to the next game and get stronger as we go into the medal round.”
The U.S. men began the day with a 20-13 win over Germany (3-4), before battling Italy (4-4) for an 18-16 victory and then defeating Brazil (2-5) 21-14.
“After the loss yesterday, we knew we had to come back and play tough today,” said Brett Brady (Highlands Ranch H.S./Highlands Ranch, Colo.). “As we go along we are improving, and we have come together as a team pretty well. I think we have a chance to play for the gold medal if we keep working hard.”
Completing the men’s team are: Larry Austin (Lanphier H.S./Springfield, Ill.), DeMonte Flannigan (Villa Angela-St. Joseph H.S. / Richmond Heights, Ohio) and Rondaé Hollis-Jefferson (Chester H.S./Chester, Pa.).
The USA 3x3 U18 women opened today with a 21-11 win against Taiwan (0-5) before losing to China (4-1) 13-12 in overtime with just two players due to foul trouble.
“I think we can take a lot away from today,” said Kaela Davis (Buford H.S./Suwanee, Ga.). “No game is wasted. We will watch film and see what we can do better on, and come back ready to play tomorrow.”
In addition to Davis, the USA 3x3 women’s team includes: Diamond DeShields (Norcross H.S./Norcross, Ga.), Erica McCall (Ridgeview H.S./Bakersfield, Calif.) and Brianna Turner (Manvel H.S./Pearland, Texas).
The 2012 FIBA 3x3 U18 World Championship for Men features 32 teams divided into four groups of eight. The top team from each group, including the USA (D1), Canada (A1), Russia (C1) and Serbia (B1), earned a berth into the quarterfinals. The No. 2 and No. 3 teams in each group will battle in one play-in game to advance four teams to the quarterfinals.
At 2 p.m. (8 a.m. EDT) on Sept. 30, Israel (5-2) will play France (6-1), Romania (5-2) will take on Switzerland (5-2), Estonia (5-2) faces Bulgaria (6-1) and New Zealand (4-3) faces Spain (5-2).
Canada gets the winner of Romania – Switzerland, Russia plays the winner of Israel – France and Serbia faces the winner of New Zealand – Spain.
From quarterfinal play on, the tournament continues in a standard knockout format.
Not advancing after preliminary round play were: Angola (0-7), Australia (3-4), Belize (4-3), China (2-5), Jordan (0-7), Kazakhstan (2-5), Latvia (4-3), Lithuania (4-3), the Netherlands (0-7), Poland (4-3), Singapore (1-6), Slovakia (1-6), Slovenia (3-4), Tunisia (1-6) and Venezuela (3-4).
The 2012 FIBA 3x3 U18 World Championship for Women features 24 teams divided into four groups of six. The top team from each group earned a berth into the quarterfinals, including the USA (B1), Australia (C1), Italy (D1) and Spain (A1). The No. 2 and No. 3 teams will play one game to advance four teams to the quarterfinals.
At 1:30 p.m. (7:30 a.m. ED), Lithuania (4-1) will play Romania (4-1), Estonia plays Czech Republic, England (3-2) will play China (4-1) and the Netherlands (3-2) faces France (3-2).
Australia (5-0) will play the winner of the Netherlands – France, Italy (5-0) takes on the winner of England – China and Spain (5-0) awaits the winner of Lithuania – Romania.
From the quarterfinals on, the tournament continues in a standard knockout format.
Not advancing after preliminary round play were: Andorra (1-4), Brazil (2-3), Canada (2-3), Guam (0-5), Jordan (0-5), Sri Lanka (1-4), Switzerland (1-4), Tunisia (0-5) and Turkey (3-2).
The 3x3 U18 World Championship events also include individual skills challenges and a mixed tournament. The skills competitions are a 3-point shootout, a dunk contest and a “2 Ball” contest in which a team of two athletes shoots from five different positions in a 60-second span.
Hollis-Jefferson is tied for fourth in the dunk contest and will compete in the final round tomorrow. The teams of Davis and DeShields and Austin and Brady will vie for the 3-point shootout later this evening; and Jefferson and Turner did not advance in the “2 Ball” shooting contest.
This marks the second annual FIBA 3x3 U18 World Championship. In the inaugural event, dubbed the 2011 FIBA 3x3 Youth World Championship, the USA women finished with a 7-2 record and earned an honorary bronze medal after having to forfeit the bronze medal game due to injuries. The 2011 USA 3x3 U18 men went 7-5 and finished in eighth place. Spain’s women and New Zealand’s men claimed the inaugural gold medals.