Star-studded USA desperate for first title this season at loaded FIBA 3x3 Women's Series Bucharest Stop

8 Aug 2022

BUCHAREST (Romania) - Hoops power USA have brought their big guns for the FIBA 3x3 Women's Series Bucharest Stop on August 9-10 as they search for a first title in 2022.

In a tough field of 12, USA will be out to pack a punch at the eighth Stop in the women's pro circuit but competition will be fierce in an event with more stars than the album reviews for Renaissance.

The Favorites

USA have been close but left frustrated after runner-up finishes in Poitiers and Edmonton and having also been knocked out by rival Canada in the quarters of the Crelan FIBA 3x3 World Cup 2022.

They've loaded up in Bucharest in a bid to end their drought with USA boasting Crelan World Cup 2022 players Lauren Cox and Cierra Burdick, who's been tearing up defenses in 3x3 since 2014 (and is still only 28!).

But their walking bucket is sharpshooter Linnae Harper, who has the best two-point percentage on the women's circuit this season and might just melt down Bucharest if she catches fire.

But USA will have to be at their absolute best to walk away with the W in an insanely stacked field headed by No.1 seed Germany, who have been strengthened by the inclusion of the world's top ranked player Sonja Greinacher.

The 6ft. 3in (1.9m) tour de force was unstoppable early in the season when Germany were rolling but things have been tougher for them recently. They showcased, however, their depth of talent when Germany's younger players shined during their runner-up finish in Suhkbaatar.

That might just spark Germany's main stars back into top gear as they try to fend off rivals, including No.2 seed and Crelan World Cup 2022 silver medalist Canada who boast the brilliant Plouffe sisters.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by FIBA3x3W (@fiba3x3w)

Canada will enter with swagger and a psychological edge having beaten USA in the final and France during pool play in Edmonton.

No.3 seed France are missing some of their famous stars but there is no reason to worry because they always bring it. Their world champ Hortense Limouzin is back with her speedy first step and so are 3 of the 4 players, who won the Ulaanbaatar Stop earlier this year.

The Field

We're stacked for choices here with No.4 seed Czech Republic emerging as a team to keep an eye out for after making the quarters at home in Prague. They will be keen to prove they can perform away from the comforts of home but are in good hands with 22-year-old Alzbeta Levinska quickly becoming a rising 3x3 star.

Host Romania should be fired up by their loud home support and enter in good form after a quarter-final fun in Sukhbaatar, where 3x3 great Ancuţa Stoenescu needed a raincoat because she was splashing from all parts of the half court.

Israel made a statement early in the season with a semi-final effort in Poitiers and don't be surprised if they make another deep run led by towering Alexandra Cohen, who loves playing bully ball in the paint.

It hasn't been the season for FIBA 3x3 World Cup 2018 champs Italy but never write off a team boasting fan favorite Raelin D'Alie who, as y'all know, can go cray cray in an instant.

Last but not least, just keep an eye on new commercial team Dusseldorf ZOOS (GER), who made the quarter-finals on their first appearance on the Women's Series in Prague and will welcome the cat-quick Jennifer Crowder, who shined on the German national team... when they won the Women's Series Final last year in Bucharest.

Pools

Pool A: Germany, Slovakia, Latvia
Pool B: Canada, Israel, Italy
Pool C: France, Romania, Switzerland
Pool D: Czech Republic, USA, Dusseldorf ZOOS (GER)

How to watch

The two-day extravaganza is on August 9-10 and you can follow it live on the FIBA 3x3 YouTube and Facebook pages.

FIBA