USA Men Advance To Quarterfinals At FIBA 3x3 World Cup
The USA Men’s 3x3 World Cup Team (3-1) will advance to the quarterfinals of the 2017 FIBA 3x3 World Cup after topping New Zealand (1-3) 21-5 and South Korea (1-3) 21-4 on June 19 in Nantes, France.
As Group D’s No. 2 seed, the USA will play the No. 1 seed from Group A in the quarterfinals on June 21. That team is still to be determined as Group A concludes play later today. The No. 1 seed from Group D, Netherlands (4-0), will play A2. Watch the action live at YouTube.com/3x3planet.
“We are excited,” said USA guard Daniel Mavraides (Los Angeles, Calif.). “We already are looking forward to our quarterfinal game. We’ve done some scouting already, and we will spend the next 36 hours or so prepping for that.”
Groups B and C will conclude their preliminary round games on June 20 to determine the top two seeds from each group. B1 will play C2, and C1 will play B2.
The quarterfinal winners will play in the semifinals on June 21. The semifinal winners will compete in the gold medal game on June 21, and the semifinal losers will battle for the bronze medal that same day.
The USA started the day with a 21-6 win over New Zealand that saw Mavraides lead the USA with 10 points, while Zahir Carrington (Philadelphia, Pa.) added five points. The USA hit four 2-pointers in the first 3:46 to lead 12-3, and after a score from New Zealand, the USA reeled off six more unanswered points and led 18-4 with 4:57 remaining on the clock. From there, the teams traded baskets, and Craig Moore (Doylestown, Pa.) closed out the win at 4:10 with a 2-pointer.
“That was an important game to us,” Mavraides said. “We played well against Indonesia Saturday night, and we really wanted to come out and build upon that. We didn’t care that we were up 14-2 at one point. We stayed focused, and we wanted to really execute our stuff, keep shooting well and keep playing good defense, and I think we did that for the full game.”
The USA was sizzling in its game against South Korea, making 10 2-pointers while giving up just four points defensively. At one point, Damon Huffman (Peoskey, Mich.), Mavraides and Moore combined for seven unanswered 2-pointers in a 14-0 run that made it 16-2 with 6:15 on the clock. After two more from behind the arc from Huffman, Mavraides closed out the win with a free throw – the only point scored by the USA during the game what was not a 2-pointer.
“We came out with the same mentality as we have against every team,” said Mavraides. “We were shooting that ball well, but that’s what we do. The only game so far that was uncharacteristic of us was game one against Netherlands, when we only made one 2-pointer. We are probably averaging eight 2-pointers over the last three games. We are shooters, and we made shots. That makes the game easy for us.”
Medals also are available for men in the dunk contest, which begins on June 19 with a qualification round. The semifinals and finals of the dunk contest will be on June 21.
Now an annual event, the first FIBA 3x3 World Cup was held in 2012.
USA 3x3 Men’s World Cup Teams have compiled a 16-8 overall record and claimed the silver medal, the first podium finish, in 2016.