USA Wins Men's and Women's Stop 2 Titles at 2022 FIBA 3x3 U23 Nations League
· 2022 FIBA 3x3 Nations League Results
· 2022 FIBA 3x3 Nations League Schedule
The USA Basketball Men’s and Women’s 3x3 U23 Nations League Teams claimed their respective Stop 2 titles on Sunday at the 2022 FIBA 3x3 U23 Nations League Americas conference in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. The men ousted host country Dominican Republic 21-12 for their first title of the competition while the women defeated Argentina 21-14 for their second consecutive final victory.
“Both the men and women exhibited extreme but impressive efforts to secure their final titles today,” USA Basketball 3x3 U23 Nations League head coach Damon Huffman said. “The men responded by coming together, specifically on the defensive end. The women continue to perform and execute and if they continue to play to their strengths then we will be in a good position for the remaining stops this week.”
The men had a strong start in their first Pool A game of the day, a 16-9 victory over Venezuela. Keaton Wallace led the American scorers with six points but it was Khalid Thomas’ inside presence that helped the U.S. to an early 7-2 lead. Thomas’ size and speed was a challenge for the Venezuelans who took difficult shots and finished with their lowest output thus far in the competition.
The second victory in pool play came 21-9 over Argentina. Quick starts from Thomas and Wallace helped the U.S. to a 14-4 advantage just minutes into the game. Thomas and Wallace combined for 14 points as each chipped in seven. The 2-0 record in Pool A sent the men to their first final of the competition.
USA faced a physical challenge from the Dominican Republic in the final. The U.S. was able to build a 9-5 lead after five minutes but foul trouble for both sides forced most of the scoring to occur at the free throw line. Fortunately, Thomas and Wallace were locked in. Thomas capped his day with seven points while Wallace led all scorers with nine.
The women’s day began with a matchup against Puerto Rico. Maddy Siegrist, making her Nations League debut, made an immediate impact on the offensive end. She scored a game-high nine points in the 16-11 victory, tying for the most by a U.S. player through two stops of the competition.
Kayla Wells had it going offensively against the Dominican Republic. Wells, who is a member of the USA Basketball 3x3 Women’s Series Team, hit on four two-pointers on her way to nine points. Siegrist added six points and Alyssa Ustby scored five to secure the 21-3 victory.
The USA relied on a balanced attack against Argentina in the evening’s final. Siegrist scored six points, Maddy Westbeld added five and Wells led the squad with seven. The formidable Argentinians tied the game on six occasions but it was two late two-pointers from Wells that put the game out of question.
Both the men and women return to action for the third stop of the Nations League on Monday, August 15.
ABOUT FIBA 3x3 NATIONS LEAGUE
The FIBA 3x3 Nations League is comprised of 57 different national federations and 11 difference conferences. Each conference has six one-day events which includes daily pool play and final. Teams earn tour standing points after each one-day event. The best-ranked team in the standings after the sixth day are declared winners of their conference and qualify for the 2022 FIBA 3x3 Nations League Final in Constanta, Romania, on Sept. 14-16.
ABOUT FIBA 3X3
Different than five-on-five, 3x3 is played on a half-court with a 10-minute game clock and 12-second shot clock. Play is continuous, as teams “clear” the ball behind the 2-point line following a made basket, defensive rebound or steal. The first team to score 21 points via 1-pointer field goals or 2-pointers behind the arc is victorious; or if time expires then the team leading wins.