2016 USA Basketball 3x3 U18 National Tournament Concludes Successful Opening Day
Three teams remain undefeated after the first day of competition at the 2016 USA Basketball 3x3 U18 National Tournaments on Saturday at the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
A total of 12 men’s and eight women’s 3x3 U18 teams from across the country competed in today’s round-robin preliminary games. All eight women’s teams and the top four teams in each men’s preliminary pools advanced to the May 1 knockout round. Quarterfinal games winners will square off in the semifinals, and the winners of those contests will compete for the championship.
In the men’s tournament, Snipers (5-0) earned the top spot in Group A, Hoopla (4-1) finished in second place, Scorpions (2-3) won the head-to-head tie-breaker over Eagles (2-3) for third place and the Eagles advanced in fourth place.
“We played well together,” said Sam Masten (Rock Canyon H.S./Highlands Ranch, Colo.), whose three-man Snipers team played its five games without a substitute on the bench. “We have a couple of shooters and a couple of guys who can get to the rim really well. We just tried to use that to our advantage. Tomorrow we need to do the same thing we did today, play as a team, play to our skill set and use our abilities, and I think we’ll be fine.”
Moving on to the men’s quarterfinals from Group B was Pluto (5-0) in first place, Ballerz (3-1) was seeded second, Club Zum (3-2) finished third and Grind Time Hoops (2-3) took the fourth and final spot. The remaining teams will compete in the May 1 consolation round.
“We were just trying to get a lot of action, a lot of ball movement and play as a team,” said Pluto’s D’Shawn Schwartz (Sand Creek H.S./Colorado Springs, Colo.). “When you’re getting a lot of shots up, you get tired, so we were trying to make some good basketball plays. To come out on top (of this tournament), we have to get some rest, that’s for sure, eat right, play hard, just the basics.”
In the women’s tournament, which will see the winner named as the 2016 USA Basketball 3x3 U18 World Championship Team, Group A finished with a three-way tie for first place with Southern Starz (2-1) winning the tie breaker to finish in the top spot. Mambas (2-1) finished second and Hoopla was third (2-1), while Elite (0-3) finished fourth. Group B was won outright by Takeover (3-0), while Shock (2-1) finished second, Burland (1-2) was third and Domination (0-3) advanced in fourth place.
“Our goal coming in today was to win,” said Takeover’s Amber Ramirez (Karen Wagner H.S./San Antonio, Texas), who has committed to play for Texas Christian University in the fall. “We wanted to play team ball and get everybody looks. If we had a mismatch underneath or outside in the wing area, we wanted to use that to our advantage. Tomorrow we need to keep playing the way we did today, with lots of energy, defense. We have to make shots, layups, 3s, and we have to come out with a lot of energy.”
The team that wins the 2016 USA Basketball 3x3 U18 Women’s National Tournament will qualify to represent the USA at the 2016 FIBA 3x3 U18 World Championship, which will be played June 1-5 in Astana, Kazakhstan.
Under FIBA’s 3x3 rules, each game consists of one 10-minute period. The team leading after completion of regular playing time, or the first team to score 21 points is declared the winner. If the game ends in a tie, the first team to score two points in overtime earns the victory. 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.
“There’s no help-side (in 3x3),” added Schwartz, when asked about the differences in 3x3 versus playing a standard, five-on-five full court game. “So you can get a lot of dunks, a lot of layups, a lot of 3s. It’s played really fast. You’re not running (the full court) and getting out of breath, so I like that.”
FIBA 3x3 U18 World Championship
The 2016 FIBA 3x3 U18 World Championship is expected to feature 20 men’s and 20 women’s teams from around the globe. The USA Basketball women qualified by virtue of FIBA’s world rankings.
The FIBA 3x3 U18 World Championship has been held on an annual basis since 2011, except the years of the Summer Youth Olympic Games (2010, 2014). In addition to the men’s and women’s 3x3 tournaments, which are expected to feature 20 teams each, included in the 2016 3x3 U18 World Championship program will be skills contests, giving athletes chances to win additional medals.
The USA women’s 3x3 U18 teams have compiled a 49-6 overall record and captured gold at the 2014 Youth Olympic Games, and the 2012 and 2013 FIBA 3x3 U18 World Championships; silver at the 2015 FIBA 3x3 U18 World Championship; and bronze medals at the 2010 Youth Olympic Games and 2011 FIBA 3x3 U18 World Championship.