PHILIPPINES (FIBA 3×3 World Cup 2018) – Serbia successfully defended the men’s title while Italy rose to the women’s category throne in the FIBA 3×3 World Cup at the Philippine Arena from June 8-12, 2018.
Serbia asserted their dominance of 3×3 with their third straight world title and fourth overall.
Just like in Nantes last year, Serbia waltzed their way to the top with an immaculate 7-0 record here in Bulacan led by no other than Dusan Bulut, who tallied 7 points in their Final win over rivals Netherlands, 16-13. It was a hard-fought win against a gritty Dutch side that wanted to avenge last year’s Finals loss, but Serbia proved to be equal to the task. Newcomer Stefan Stojacic also did well, hitting some big shots en route to 4 points in the Final.
Netherlands were led by Jesper Jobse’s 6 points, while “The Flying Dutchman” Sjoerd van Vilsteren added 4.
In the men’s bronze medal match, Poland had a hot start, but Slovenia proved to be too resilient. Gasper Ovnik hit the game-winning lay-up as Slovenia won, 21-16, and bagged the bronze medal.
Ovnik topped all scorers in the competition with 53 points, while Bulut was named MVP of the men’s category. Bulut was also joined by Jobse and Poland’s Michael Hicks on the Team of the Tournament.
In the women’s category, Italy completed their captivating cinderella run, dethroning Russia, 16-12, in the Final.
Rae Lin D’Alie stayed true to form, seizing the imagination of the crowd with her handles, court vision and scoring. The shortest player of the tournament (5ft 4in, 1.63m) proved to be too hot to handle for the Russians, who just couldn’t find their rhythm.
It was an historic ending for the Italian women, who had never won a medal in the team’s event at the FIBA 3×3 World Cup till this moment.
D’Alie dropped 7 points in the Final, while Giulia Rulli added 4. Russia, meanwhile, saw Anna Leshkovtseva leading the way with 4 points.
In the women’s bronze medal clash, the French took the early advantage and never let up as they defeated China, 21-14. Marie-Eve Paget finished China off with a 2-pointer and scored a total of 6 points.
Rae Lin D’Alie was named women’s MVP and top-scorer. She was joined by Leshkovtseva and China’s Li Yingyun in the Team of the Tournament.
More players were also feted with medals that were presented by FIBA and Philippines officials – including FIBA Vice-President Hamane Niang, Bulacan Mayor Joni Villanueva and Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas Executive Director Sonny Barrios – in the individual contests.
Alexandra Theodorean made history by winning her second World Cup Skills Contest , 2 years after winning in Guangzhou, China. France’s Marie-Eve Paget got the silver medal, while Kazakhstan’s Zalina Kurazova took home the bronze.
The hosts’ very own Janine Pontejos prevailed in the Shoot-Out Contest and won the first-ever FIBA 3×3 World Cup gold medal for the Philippines. Russia’s Alexandra Stolyar earned a silver medal for Russia, while Hrvoje Marin settled for the bronze.
Ukraine’s Dmitry “Smoove” Krivenko, meanwhile, was adjudged the winner of the Dunk Contest., his second World title .He scored a total of 130 points, including 79 in the Final, where he beat France’s Guy Dupuy. His repertoire included a dunk where he caught the ball after bouncing it between his legs for an emphatic one hand jam, for which he was given a perfect 30. Dupuy pocketed the silver, while Filipino high-flyer David Carlos received the bronze.