2017 USA Basketball 3x3 U18 National Tournaments Conclude Preliminary Round Play
Preliminary round play has wrapped up, and the quarterfinal brackets for the sixth annual 2017 USA Basketball 3x3 U18 National Tournaments for men and women are set for Sunday, April 9, at the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
One team from each of the two pools in both tournaments are undefeated, including Hoopla (4-0) and Western PA Elite Gold (3-0) on the men’s side.
“Obviously, we have stuff to work on,” said Jack Roche (Wilsonville H.S./Wilsonville, Ore.) of Hoopla. “There are a lot of good teams here, a lot of good competition. We have to come out to be ready to play every game from now on, because it is single-elimination from here on out.”
In the women’s tournament, Bounce Back (3-0) and Denver (3-0) secured No. 1 seeds into quarterfinal play, which begins for both tournaments on April 9.
“I feel like we played well, being a team that hasn’t played together for a long time,” said Charli Collier, a member of Metropath, which went 2-1 on the day. Collier also won a bronze medal with USA Basketball this past summer at the 2016 FIBA U17 World Championship.
“Our team just got put together,” Collier said of her squad. “I feel like we did a really good job today of passing the ball around and getting good shots.”
The winning U18 women’s team will be crowned as the 2017 USA Basketball Women’s 3x3 U18 World Cup Team and will earn the right to represent the United States at the FIBA 3x3 U18 World Cup 2017, which will be played June 28-July 2 in Chengdu, China.
The victorious USA men’s U18 team will earn an automatic berth into the 2018 USA Basketball 3x3 U18 National Tournament.
The men’s quarterfinal matchups will see pool A’s top seed Western PA Elite Gold versus 2Hard2Guard (1-3), the fourth-placed team from pool B; Warriors (1-2), which were third in A, against Ballerz (3-1), who finished second in pool B; No. 1 seed Hoopla of pool B against Four Muskateers (0-4), the fourth-place team from pool B; and B’s third-place finisher Western PA Elite Black (2-2) against MVP360 All-Stars (2-1), which ended up second in group A.
“We feel good,” Roche said of entering the playoffs. “We won, but there is a lot of great talent here and a lot of great players. We have to be ready, move the ball, take good shots and block out on everything. We want to win this tournament, but we want to play together, too. Play as a team, play hard, play well and give it our all.”
The women’s quarterfinals will feature the No. 1 seed from pool C Bounce Back against the fourth-place team in pool D, Lady Panthers (0-3); Metropath, which finished second in pool D, will take on Hard2Guard (1-2), the third seed from pool C; Denver (3-0), which was tops in pool D, will meet the fourth seed from C, Destroyers (0-3); and finally, Elite Force (2-1), which was second in pool C, will play Western PA Elite (1-2), which was third in pool D.
“We want to be ready and not to be scared of any team, because they are just like us, just a team put together,” Collier said of the team’s mentality heading into quarterfinal play. “Hopefully we will play well and get a couple of wins. Our goal is, of course, to win it all, but if we don’t, just the experience itself is pretty cool to be out here and playing with such a great group of girls.”
Quarterfinal winners will advance to the semifinals, and the semifinals winners will compete for the title.
Both championship games will stream live online at USAB.com/live on April 9, with the women’s U18 title game schedule for 11:30 a.m. (all times listed are local, MDT) and the men’s U18 set for 2:10 p.m.