USA Men and Women Take Stop 5 Titles at 3x3 U23 Nations League
The USA 3x3 U23 Nations League teams won their respective Stop 5 titles in the Americas conference at the 2022 FIBA 3x3 U23 Nations League on Thursday in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. The women earned their fifth straight title with a 18-10 victory over Argentina while the men won their third title of the event by defeating Puerto Rico 21-12.
The women began the day with one of their closest contests of the competition. Neither the USA nor Puerto Rico could build a lead larger than three points and the game was tight throughout. The Americans prevailed, 22-19, with Alyssa Ustby leading the way with nine points. Maddy Westbeld made the game-ending two-pointer with seconds remaining on the game clock.
The U.S. used their size advantage to jump to an 11-1 lead before the first media timeout against the Dominican Republic. Ustby was able to score inside and outside, finishing the game with eight points. Maddy Siegrist had a game-high 10 points. The U.S. secured the 21-5 victory with over two minutes of game time remaining.
The final saw a familiar foe in Argentina. Already having beat the Argentinians in the first two finals, the USA executed a quick start by scoring 10 of the first 12 points of the game. Celeste Taylor scored seven points and Westbeld chipped in six. The victory improved the U.S.’s record to 15-0 at the competition.
The men’s first pool play game of the day was a 19-18 back-and-forth battle with Venezuela. Eric Dixon was impressive in the painted area, scoring nine of his game-high 11 points down low. The game was tied on eight different occasions but time expired with Venezuela missing the game-tying basket.
Against Argentina, the men’s defensive attention highlighted the 20-9 win. The USA held Argentina scoreless for the first four minutes of the game and entered the first media timeout up 8-0. Chris Arcidiacono hit two two-pointers and Khalid Thomas added six points in the complete effort.
In the final against Puerto Rico, it was Dixon putting together his best offensive output of the week. Displaying an array of moves, Dixon scored a game-high 11 points. Combined with Thomas’ (five points) dunks at the rim, the USA prevailed 21-12. The U.S. has won the 2, 4 and 5 titles.
The Nations League Americas conference concludes on Friday with the sixth and final Stop.
ABOUT FIBA 3x3 NATIONS LEAGUE
The FIBA 3x3 Nations League is comprised of 57 different national federations and 11 different 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.