Reigning champions Serbia and France shine on Day 1 of the FIBA 3x3 World Cup 2023
VIENNA (Austria) - Serbia (men) and France (women) are back like they never left, going perfect on Day 1 at the FIBA 3x3 World Cup 2023 on May 30.
To no surprise, Serbia came out swinging from the jump. They swept past a gritty Madagascar side 21-9 in the opener with Strahinja Stojacic opening the floor for his side while swishing some buckets himself.
Their second game, however, wasn’t as swift. Taking on France, many expected a comfortable win. Alex Vialaret caught fire early for France as they took it to the juggernauts, holding onto a 13-16 lead with minutes to go.
Enter Dr. Strange. The 30-year-old caught absolute fire, igniting his side’s 8-0 run. Two clutch free throws iced the game as the champs sit comfortably atop group A.
France’s women dazzled their opponents, with Hortense Limouzin outpacing everyone on the court with her off-ball movement while Laetitia Guapo drained huge buckets.
Their first battle ended 14-19 in their favor against a strong Brazil side who tried to battle back, but their attempts were answered each time by huge plays by Guapo and Myriam Djekoundade.
Their second battle against Spain came with history. The result was no different to their Quarter Final game in the 2022 FIBA 3x3 World Cup as Spain just couldn’t find an answer to break the French defense.
Lithuania’s Evaldas Džiaugys rallied his side to a perfect opening day. He was all over the boards and made crucial buckets, defeating fan favorites in Belgium and Puerto Rico. He scored a total of 14 points, leading his side in that department.
Czech Republic made headlines today after defeating title contenders Canada in the opening game. It was off the back of a legendary offensive display by Kateřina Galíčková. She not only scored a total of 17 points over two games, she scored the incredible two in OT to cause the upset against the Canadians.
If you’re wondering which team dazzled the most with thunderous jams and just a collection of highlight plays, look no further than Germany (men).
Two 18-year-olds in Denzel Agyeman and Sidi Beikame brought the house down in Vienna. When Germany take to the court, do not blink.
The group stage action continues tomorrow on May 31 with the men’s United States team in action as well as the on-fire China women’s side. We are just getting started.