Men’s Medal Round Matchups Set at USA Basketball 3x3 U18 National Championships
Team Quest (5-0) and Western PA Elite (5-0) remain undefeated heading into Sunday’s medal-round play at the USA Basketball 3x3 U18 National Championships that are taking place this weekend at the United States Olympic Training Center (USOTC) in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
“We’re feeling good,” said Reed Fenton (Greater Latrobe H.S./Latrobe, Pa.) of Western PA Elite, a 2017 USA 3x3 U18 Nationals participant. “We played some good teams, had some good competition and we played some close ones. But, we pulled it out and got some wins. That’s good going into playoffs knowing that we can pull off close ones.”
The 12 teams were split into two groups for Saturday’s preliminary play, then were seeded at the end of the evening according to preliminary results, and all 12 teams will compete in Sunday’s knockout round.
The top two teams from each group, which in addition to Quest and Western PA Elite, includes BBA (4-1) and Elite 1 (4-1), earned byes to the quarterfinals.
Medal-round play in the men’s tournament begins in USOTC Sports Center I at 9 a.m. on Sunday and games are free and open to the public. Winning teams will have to advance through quarterfinal and semifinal play to reach the national championship game, which will be streamed live on usab.com for both the men and women beginning at 12:50 p.m.
“There are a couple things we need to fix, but other than that I’m proud of my guys for coming out today and going 4-1,” said BBA’sT.J. Boykins (Douglas County H.S./Castle Rock, Colo.). “It’s way faster than regular five-on-five and even when you miss you still have to be confident in your shot because this game is way faster, it keeps going and going.”
“It definitely helps that we were here last year,” added Fenton. “We’re used to the rules, all the different rules like you have to take it back out, you can’t go back inside the circle until you do that, that helps a lot because we have more experience. It’s different from five-on-five, it’s a really different game. So, the experience definitely helps.”
Not only is a championship title at stake, the USA Basketball 3x3 U18 National Championships also are serving as a trials for the 2018 U.S. Youth Olympic Games, which will be held Oct. 6-18 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Argentina, as the host nation, and Belgium, by virtue of winning the 2017 FIBA 3x3 U18 World Cup, are assured a spot in the men’s 3x3 YOG tournament. The remaining 18 places will be allocated based on the FIBA world ranking as of April 1, 2018. Athletes eligible for this event must be U.S. citizens who are 18 years old or younger (born on or after Jan. 1, 2000).
The USA Basketball 3x3 U18 National Championships are played according to FIBA 3x3 rules, including: a 10-minute game clock and a 12-second shot clock; free throws and made baskets inside the arc are worth one point and made baskets from beyond the arc are worth two points; the first team to 21 points or whichever team is ahead at the end of regulation play is the winner; and if the game is tied at the end of regulation play, the first team to score two points in overtime wins.