USA 3x3 U18 Teams Tip Off World Cup Journey
The USA Basketball 3x3 U18 teams opened pool play at the 2022 FIBA 3x3 U18 World Cup, an event at which the U.S. is defending champion in both men’s and women’s, in Debrecen, Hungary, on Wednesday.
The women’s title defense started strong as they went 2-0 with victories over Egypt and Mongolia in Pool D.
Before winning 16-8, Egypt played the Americans tough as both teams struggled to make shots from the floor. The game was tied at 1 until KK Arnold scored the USA’s second point. The game remained close with USA holding a 9-7 edge with 2:00 to play. The U.S. got found a scoring groove before regulation, outscoring Egypt 8-1 to the final buzzer. Arnold closed the game with seven points and Mikaylah Williams added a game-high eight.
In their second matchup, the Americans reached 21 in 6:31 to outmatch Mongolia, who scored 10. The USA made 19 shots to Mongolia’s seven, including six by Williams, who finished the game with nine points. Her teammates add four points apiece.
The men’s team is facing an uphill battle going into the second day of pool play after falling to Slovenia and France in Pool C.
The first game against Slovenia was down to the wire with the Slovenians earning a 16-15 edge. Eric Dailey Jr. had a game-high-tying eight points. France’s physicality was too much for the U.S. in their second game, resulting in a 21-12 loss.
The women will be back in action Thursday at 11:25 a.m. ET vs. Kyrgyzstan and 1:15 p.m. ET vs. Ukraine.
The men are off Thursday before tipping off with Dominican Republic at 12:15 p.m. ET and Estonia at 2:05 p.m. ET on Friday.
Games are being streamed live on www.youtube.com/fiba3x3.