POITIERS (France) - The champs showed levels at Poitier as they took home the win, beating China 17 - 16 in the finals of the FIBA 3x3 Women’s Series on June 27 - 28.
Here’s what happened on the seventh stop of the series.
The Winners: Canada
While they came into the event as the top seed, the fiery Canadians hadn’t looked too hot recently. Heartbreak at the World Cup followed by a loss to eventual winners Spain in their first appearance in the Women’s Series this year in Orleans, safe to say Canada were coming into the event with a chip on their shoulder.
They made easy work in group play, sweeping past Neftchi and Italy. The Plouffe sisters were in sync and Paige Crozon proved once again why she is an absolute bucket, scoring 31 points in the competition.
They faced a tough challenge in the quarter-finals, facing rivals USA who had started to find their form. What followed was a comfortable 21 - 12 win as they held Breanna Richardson to 0 points. A subsequent win against Gyor booked them a spot in the finals which they went on to win.
China are the IT-Team of the Women’s Series, having won the most stops so far. Not only that, they have won with two different versions of the team. An experienced side led by Lili Wang, and a youthful team with multiple ways of dealing damage to their opposition.
They had a monstrous first day, beating Switzerland and Gyor. Mingling Chen put up 10 points in the first game before Yujie Chen put up 9 in the next. They pulled away with gritty wins against the USA U24 team as well as a resilient Italy side. The win set up the much-anticipated clash between the top two seeds, China and Canada.
Canada 17 - 16 China
If you didn’t expect the No. 1 ranked hooper in 3x3 to ball out in the finals for Canada, you need to get with the program. Michelle Plouffe was EVERYWHERE. She finished the game with 8 points, 9 rebounds and some dimes to boot. They held a commanding lead over China as they boasted a 5 point lead late in the game.
China’s Kun Huang wasn’t gonna let them have it so easy, though. She caught fire, draining huge twos to will her nation forward. She tied the game up, but their happiness would be short lived as with less than two minutes to go, Kacie Bosch sunk the dagger. China’s grit could only take them so far as the reigning champs laid claim to the Poitiers stop of the Women’s Series.
MVP: Katherine Plouffe
24 points doesn’t even begin to highlight just how crucial Katherine Plouffe was to the engine that is Canada. Her impact on both sides of the game led to her being named MVP of the tournament.
4. Gyor (HUN)
8. USA U24
9. France U24
10. Neftchi (AZE)
11. Sc. Yuanda (CHN)
Next Stop: Marseille
The French portion of the Women's Series continues in Marseille as the action takes place on June 29 - 30.