Belgium’s men and USA’s women struck gold in the sixth edition of the FIBA 3×3 U18 World Cup in Chengdu, China on June 28 – July 2 2017.
Just one year after an unexpected trip to the final of the FIBA 3×3 U18 Europe Cup, Belgium enjoyed a perfect 7-0 record and turned silver into gold in front of the massive Global Center, the largest building on the planet.
The athletic team made multiple appearances in the highlight reels and kept every team under 15 points.
In an all-Benelux final against the Netherlands, Noah Fogang Tchendjou topped all scorers with 6 points, including back-to-back daggers from outside the arc while the game was still undecided.
Tournament MVP Ayoub Nouhi added 5 points and fellow member of the Team of the Tournament Vincent Peeters contributed 4 points, including the play of the game: a slick crossover followed by a monster jam.
After winning 6 straight games, the lights turned to orange for the Netherlands in the final as sharpshooter Boyd Van der Vuurst De Vries was limited to just 5 points.
It was the second silver medal in two weeks for the Netherlands, following the Flying Dutchmen’s incredible run at the FIBA 3×3 World Cup.
Slovenia won bronze in a nail-biter against New Zealand (21-17). Just a few hours after hitting a game-winner in overtime against Ukraine in the quarter-finals, tournament top scorer Samo Gabersek did it again in the bronze-medal game, which earned him a spot on the Team of the Tournament.
In the women’s category, USA ended a 4-year gold-winning drought by dominating Czech Republic (21-14) in the final.
Janelle Bailey was unstoppable in the middle in the title game, scoring a whopping 11 points that propelled her on top of the scoring charts.
Bailey was joined on the Team of the Tournament by team-mate and MVP Aquira DeCosta, who finished 4th overall in scoring and wowed the crowd with her signature shammgod.
Despite being limited to just 4 points in the final, Czech Republic’s Simona Ruzkova was also added to the Team of the Tournament.
Just like the Netherlands’ men, Czech Republic’s women enjoyed their best ever performance in the competition on the year the federation joined the FIBA 3×3 Fast Track, an ambitious 3×3 development program created by FIBA to identify and train the future 3×3 Olympians.
Russia won bronze after beating Hungary in defensive-minded game (12-8).
Nine more medals were handed out in the individual contests.
Calvin Poulina struck gold for the Netherlands in the Shoot-Out Contest. Ukraine’s Vitaliy Shorstkiy earned silver while Japan’s Maaya Inoue collected bronze.
Dahlia Monteiro brought Switzerland a gold medal in the skills contest after beating Argentina’s Josefina Torruella in the final. After gold in the team competition, Aquira DeCosta (USA) added bronze in the skills contest.
New FIBA 3×3 U18 World Champ Vincent Peeters (Belgium) did even better as he went double-gold after dominating the dunk contest, where the Philippines’ Florencio Serrano and Slovenia’s Matej Susec struck silver and bronze respectively. (FIBA.com)
Final standings of the FIBA 3×3 U18 World Cup 2017:
4. New Zealand
19. South Korea
2. Czech Republic
19. Sri Lanka
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