Day One Of USA Basketball 3x3 National Tournament Features Three Teams With Perfect Records
The first day of the 2015 USA Basketball 3x3 National Tournament at the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, saw two men’s teams complete pool play undefeated to finish as No. 1 seeds into Sunday’s quarterfinal contests, while in the women’s tournament, which will conclude preliminary round play on Sunday morning, just one team remains unbeaten.
“I felt we played a little sluggish in the beginning, but as the day kept going, as the other teams got tired, we tried to stay warm and ready,” said Cory Campbell (San Diego, Calif.), who plays with 5-0 Denver. “We played better as the day went on.
“Tomorrow is win or go home, so we have to leave it all out there on the floor. Normally, the first day we lose at least one game in every tournament. This is kind of new to us.”
In addition to the honor of winning of the tournament, the victorious men’s and women’s teams will receive an invitation to attend next year’s 2016 USA Basketball 3x3 National Tournament, which will determine who will represent the USA at the 2016 FIBA World Championship in Guangzhou, China.
The winning men’s team at the USA Basketball 3x3 National Tournament also will earn a berth into the Mexico Masters 3x3 event on Sept. 9-10 in Mexico City, where two teams will qualify for the FIBA 3x3 World Tour Final in Abu Dhabi on Oct. 15-16, 2015.
“The day went pretty well; we went undefeated,” said Jazmine Redmon (Spokane, Wash.) of the Zagbabes, which topped Unknowns (4-1) 19-18 to finish their first day of competition. “We have never experienced something like this. We had a lot of fun doing it together.
“The momentum will carry on. We are going to go after it. We know that there are going to be teams trying to come to get us, but we will go hard. We will give it all we got.”
The top four finishing teams from each men’s pool have been seeded for the quarterfinals, which begin at 9:40 a.m. on Sunday morning. The matchups will feature: Hard2Guard (4-1) versus Midwest Connection (3-2), Ariel (4-1) against Muscle Pharm (3-2), Prime (5-0) taking on Vae Victus (2-3) and Denver versus Gates of Hope (2-3). The quarterfinal winners will advance to the semifinals, and the losers will complete their play in the tournament.
“I think we played alright,” said Brensley Haywood (Midwest Connection/Minneapolis, Minn.). “I think we need to play better defense, but otherwise we played well. The altitude got to us a little bit, but other than that we will be all right tomorrow.
“It is always in the back of your mind that you could be the winning team, but we are focusing on taking care of the ball. Everything else will take care of itself.”
The fifth and sixth placed teams from each group will play in the consolation round on Sunday, including CO Ballerz (1-4) versus Thadani’s All Stars (0-5) and Poetic Ink (1-4) against Queens (0-5).
On the women’s side, Sunday will begin with the final two rounds of preliminary play before the top four finishing teams advance to the semifinals. The semifinal winners will play in the championship game at 11:40 a.m.
“As a team we played awesome today,” said Shamela Hampton (Unknowns/Colorado Springs, Colo.). “We have an outstanding team this year. We have a few girls that play professionally overseas, so they compete, they got after it, which are things that I like.
“We have to do something to win. We got to hustle a little more.”
3x3 basketball rules include a 12-second shot clock, and baskets inside the arc are worth one point, while shots made from beyond the arc are worth two points.
“Extra possessions will be the key tomorrow,” said Paris Kyles (Prime/Brookyln Park, Minn.), a member of an undefeated team. “Anytime you can go get a loose ball to earn extra possessions, that will be key to winning any close game that you play in.”