USA Falls in Semifinal at FIBA 3x3 World Tour Prague Masters
The USA Basketball 3x3 World Tour team, Washington D.C., competed at the Prague Masters on the 2022 FIBA 3x3 World Tour this weekend in Prague, Czech Republic. The team claimed the top seed from their pool but would fall on Sunday in a semifinal round matchup against eventual champions Ub, 17-21.
Saturday saw a slow start to the tournament for Washington D.C., who fell in their first matchup to Šakiai, 19-20. The game was closely contested, with neither team leading by more than four points throughout. Isaiah Brown led the Americans in the effort, finishing with seven points and shooting 80% from the field (4-5 FG, 3-4 2FG). Khalil Iverson and Hassani Gravett also added six points.
Following their disappointing opener, Washington D.C. faced Ulaanbaatar and captured their first win of the weekend. Following a closely contested start and an 11-11 tie with less than four minutes to play, the Americans pulled away from Ulaanbaatar, outscoring the Mongolians by six points to take a 20-14 win. The Washington D.C. guards paved the way, with Gravett leading the team with eight points and nine rebounds. Additionally, Keaton Wallace finished with seven points and four rebounds.
The win secured Washington D.C. the top spot coming out of Group D based on points scored, guaranteeing the team a quarterfinal matchup on Sunday.
Washington D.C. saw Liman in the quarterfinals. The Serbians took an early 13-4 lead and looked to be in full control of the game before the Americans responded with a 7-0 run led by Keaton Wallace, who recorded five-straight points to bring the USA within one (12-13). With just under 1:30 to play, the game tied 17-17, Khalil Iverson scored the final four points for Washington D.C. to complete the comeback and give the team a 21-19 victory.
Wallace finished with a team-high nine points, while Iverson followed close behind with seven. Gravett pitched in five points and led the team in rebounding with seven boards.
In their semifinal bout with Ub, Washington D.C. fell behind early after a 10-5 run in the first three-and-a-half minutes of the game. Ub, who entered the weekend as the top ranked 3x3 team on the World Tour, widened their lead to eight points (20-12) and forced game-point with 2:49 left to play.
Much like he did in the quarterfinal, Wallace tried to lead a comeback effort for the Americans by scoring five-straight points to close the deficit to three (17-20) with just under two-and-a-half minutes to play. However, Ub would punch their ticket to the final shortly after with a free throw from Dejan Majstorovic, who finished with a game-high 11 points (4-8 FG, 3-5 2FG, 4-4 FT).
The Americans saw equal contributions in their semifinal loss, with each player scoring three-or-more points. Wallace would lead the team in scoring for the second-straight time after recording seven points, five of which came at the charity stripe.
Ub would go on to win their third-straight masters event, defeating fellow Serbian team Belgrade in the final, 22-18.
The next stop on the FIBA 3x3 World Tour will be Sukhbaatar, Mongolia, from Aug. 6-7. Washington D.C.’s next stop on the World Tour will be the Québec Challenger in Québec, Canada, from Aug. 20-21.