The moment has arrived, FIBA 3x3 World Cup 2023 Semi-finals preview
VIENNA (Austria) - The finish is just hours away with the Semi-finals and Finals games taking place between the best nations in 3x3. Here’s what to look forward to on Day 6 of the Vienna FIBA 3x3 World Cup 2023.
Serbia vs Latvia
The two sides share a ton of history, most recently battling it out in the FIBA 3x3 Europe Cup finals in 2022. There is no denying the intertwined paths they share.
Serbia have the Ub 3x3 trio of Strahinja Stojacic, Marko Brankovic, and Dejan Majstorovic. Latvia have Batman and Robin in Karlis Lasmanis and Nauris Miezis. There will be no surprises for either side going into this game.
Serbia have been arguably the most dominant side of the tournament, sweeping their way through the competition to make it to the semis. Latvia’s path to the top 4 was less sublime, but they have caught fire at the right time. Both sides utilize their partnership and playmaking to keep opponents guessing, each with the best scorers 3x3 has to offer.
One thing’s for certain, it is going to be a battle for the ages in this rivalry, and it goes down tonight.
Brazil vs United States
Both sides have had differing paths to the semi-finals. Team USA dominated their opposition, striking the perfect blend of outside scoring and that dogged mindset to go unbeaten in their run to the top 4. Brazil on the other hand, have been the rulers of the paint, bullying any team in their path besides Serbia. Their quarter-finals game against Poland came down to a deep fadeaway two by Leonardo Branquinho to carry them to victory. For team USA, it was a grinding result against France.
They do share similarities. Both teams play by committee, relying on an all-out team effort to get their results. Both teams also rely on their defensive prowess, menacing their opponents to shun any momentum they attempt to muster.
For the United States, you have the debuting Jimmer Fredette who has been on fire in this run. For Brazil, it’s the duo of Ruan Miranda and Jonatas Mello who dominate the paint. They will have to stave off the powerhouse Kareem Maddox who has been on fire this tournament. Dylan Travis has been the defensive star the likes Brazil hasn’t faced yet. Canyon Barry is taking off in recent games, making team USA an ever-present threat.
Two different styles have one thing in common, anything it takes to win. We find out soon enough who is able to execute.
China vs United States
Two teams that rely heavily on fundamentals battle it out, sharing similar styles and strategies on their path to the top 4.
For the United States, the game runs through collegiate star Hailey Van Lith with Cierra Burdick and Linnae Harper supplementing the offensive and defensive support exceptionally. Stanford's Cameron Brink has been the heart of the side, fitting in seamlessly in her 3x3 debut.
For China, their recent successes in the Women’s Series has only been highlighted in Vienna. Lili Wang is every bit the MVP she has been in the first two legs of the series with Ji Yuan Wan and Yi Zhang playing similar roles to Burdick and Harper for team USA. In the paint, it’s ZhiTing Zhang who has been unstoppable in tandem with her teammates.
They match up perfectly, with the battle between Wang and Van Lith taking center stage. Brink will also have to cope with the constant pick and rolls with Zhang and Wan. Team USA hasn’t been challenged yet the way they will be against China. On the other hand, China haven’t faced a side with as much offensive and defensive prowess as the American side.
A match made in heaven, one will make their way to the finals.
France vs Australia
Reigning champs France are just two games away from becoming back-to-back World Cup winners, but not before they take on the mighty Australians.
Despite a narrow loss to Germany, the Aussies have been flying. With no team seemingly able to contain the duo of Marena Whittle and Lauren Mansfield, the ability of Alex Wilson and Anneli Maley to catch fire makes them unshakable.
Enter France, with perhaps the most well-rounded team in the competition. The defensive prowess of Myriam Djekoundade has been the highlight of their run, with former MVP Laetitia Guapo a flamethrower on offense. Not to mention the relentless pace of Hortense Limouzin and the shot-making and playmaking ability of Marie-Eve Paget.
This will be a delectable matchup, with Djekoundade potentially taking on the Whittle assignment while Wilson and Maley will look to guard Les Guapa.
For 3x3 enthusiasts, it doesn’t get any better than this. The game is guaranteed fireworks.
The Semi-finals get underway at 2:30PM (UTC+2) in Vienna on June 4th, you don't wanna miss the action.