Pool play continued Wednesday at the FIBA 3×3 World Championships in Guangzhou, China, as several teams in both the men’s and women’s draw took a significant step toward qualifying for the knockout round.
On the men’s side, Slovenia came out firing as expected, while Poland shockingly faltered and is in danger of missing out on the quarterfinals. France established itself as a team to beat in the women’s competition along with surprising New Zealand, while top-seeded Netherlands got off to a slow start.
With the second day of group action officially in the books, here is a full rundown of scores and notable highlights from the FIBA 3×3 World Championships.
Wednesday’s FIBA 3×3 Men’s Results
Group Winning Team Losing Team Score C Romania Poland 20-16 C Spain Hungary 16-12 C Philippines Romania 21-19 C Hungary Poland 14-13 C Spain Philippines 21-16 B Andorra Egypt 21-14 B Slovenia Uruguay 21-9 B Indonesia Andorra 20-19 B Egypt Uruguay 16-9 B Slovenia Indonesia 21-7
Slovenia entered China as the No. 2-ranked team despite never having reached the semifinals at the FIBA 3×3 World Championships, but it proved why it is so highly regarded with a pair of blowout victories over Uruguay and Indonesia.
The Slovenians were expected to have an easy time with Indonesia, but their dominance over the Uruguayans came as a bigger surprise since Uruguay is ranked seventh.
As seen in this video courtesy of FIBA 3×3 on YouTube, Slovenia’s Gasper Ovnik put on a dazzling display against Uruguay:
Uruguay is already 0-2 by virtue of its loss to Slovenia as well as an upset defeat at the hands of No. 18 Egypt.
Slovenia is in the driver’s seat in Pool B, but Uruguay needs a pair of victories and some help to find its way into the knockout stage.
Much of the drama took place in Pool C Wednesday, and it came courtesy of a Philippines team that was playing with house money as the No. 19 seed.
Despite barely making it into the tournament, the Philippines scored a major upset by beating sixth-ranked Romania on a clutch shot by Karl Dehesa with the score tied at 19-19, as seen in this video from FIBA 3×3 on Twitter:
.@smartgilasph pull out the crazy upset over 2014 European Champs Romania on an ice-cold @hotttKARL game-winner ➡ https://t.co/zzpRd1dC9m pic.twitter.com/lMN4syNdAh
— FIBA3x3 (@FIBA3x3) October 12, 2016
The clash between the Philippines and Romania was the game of the day and perhaps the game of the tournament thus far, as there were plenty of lead changes and momentum swings throughout:
While Gilas managed to shock Romania, it they didn’t have quite enough magic left over to beat Spain, as the Spaniards came out on top 21-16:
Thanks to that win in addition to a triumph over Hungary, No. 11 Spain is in firm control of Pool C entering the second slate of group games.
The same can’t be said for No. 3 Poland, which is 0-2 after losses to Romania and Hungary despite being favored to win the group.
Unless the Polish squad turns things around quickly, it could be going home earlier than most anticipated.
Wednesday’s FIBA 3×3 Women’s Results
Group Winning Team Losing Team Score D France Romania 21-10 D Czech Republic Cook Islands 15-13 D France Czech Republic 21-13 D China Romania 20-17 D China Cook Islands 11-9 A New Zealand Ukraine 14-12 A Poland Indonesia 22-11 A Ukraine Netherlands 12-8 A New Zealand Poland 13-10 A Netherlands Indonesia 20-11
France was the runner-up to the United States in the inaugural FIBA 3×3 World Championships four years ago, and the French made a case for another deep run this time around by dominating the competition Wednesday.
Neither No. 13 Romania nor No. 5 Czech Republic was any match for France as they lost by a combined margin of 42-23.
France’s hot start wasn’t unexpected, but China’s was, as the host team started with wins over Romania and Cook Islands.
No. 12 China’s level of competition wasn’t high Wednesday, and we’ll learn a lot more about the team when it faces France and the Czech Republic. If pool play were to end today, however, the Chinese would be in the quarterfinals, which is surprising.
Pool A was turned on its head due to a surprising start by No. 16 New Zealand. Although New Zealand didn’t exactly shoot the lights out, its strong defense carried it to a 2-0 mark with a 14-12 win over No. 8 Ukraine and a 13-10 triumph over No. 9 Poland.
That put New Zealand all alone in first place because No. 1 Netherlands put forth a clunker in a 12-8 loss to Ukraine. Although the Dutch bounced back to beat Indonesia, they are part of a three-way tie for second in Pool A, which means they can’t afford to make many more mistakes during the remainder of group play.
The Netherlands was supposed to be capable of ending Team USA’s reign atop the 3×3 basketball world, but it may not get that opportunity due to a slip-up against the Ukraine.