Chile come clutch, Poland cause miracle on Day 4 of FIBA 3x3 U23 World Cup 2023
30 Sep 2023
LUBLIN (Poland) - Chile (Men) handle stiff challenges while Poland (Women) shock the world on Day 4 of the FIBA 3x3 U23 World Cup 2023 on September 30.
Chile (Men) started their World Cup run with a loss to Czechia, but they have grown strength to strength since. They took on China in their first game of the day where they came away with a 17 - 20 victory. Kevin Rubio was immense on both ends of the court as he put up 7 points, however it was Fabian Martinez who was on fire offensively as his 11 points proved to be pivotal.
It was the physical and offensively adept Mongolia next. The game was as advertised, an absolute battle. Martinez and Rubio combined for 13 points in a tie that went to OT. Alvaro Pimentel was the one to call game as his two sealed the deal for Chile as they would see themselves make their way onto Day 5 action.
Israel, Czechia and Germany will also be headed to the Men’s bracket of the Quarter-Finals to wrap up Pool Play.
On the women’s side, Japan built on an already impressive opening day. After going 2-0 to start their run, they would go on to face their toughest opponents in the Pool. They first took on Czechia who had gone undefeated as well on their first day. While it was yet another solid team performance from the Czechs, it was Yua magic yet again. Emura put up an incredible 12 points to seal a 13 - 21 victory.
They went up against Chile next who were coming off a statement win against Romania off the back of a lightning showing from Jovanka Ljubetic. The Japanese defense came into heavy effect in this game as they prevented Chile from gaining traction. Emura kept her side in the tie with an 8-point display. With scores tied and seconds to go, Emura drilled a dagger two before Miku Takahashi scored the final bucket of the game. It was an 11 - 14 victory for Japan who would take the momentum from a perfect Pool phase into the Quarter-Finals.
Another team to book their spot into the knockout stages were Lithuania (Women), and they had to get it the hard way. After a narrow loss to Germany on their first day of action, nothing short of a perfect day would suffice for the Lithuanians. They handled business against Tunisia with a straightforward 6 - 21 win with Egle Zabotkaite putting up 10. They now had to get through home side Poland who needed the win just as bad. Despite the Lublin crowd rooting fervently for their side, it was Lithuania that came away with an OT 15 - 14 victory in one of the best games of 3x3 this year.
However, at the last moment of the day, a miracle happened. Poland (Women), despite the loss to Lithuania had a faint chance to qualify against Germany. They would need to win by five to make it, and in a game that seemed in the balance, they did just enough to create that opportunity, Score at 20 - 17, nothing short of a two would be enough. Enter Aleksandra Ziemborska, A hail mary two did the trick as Poland booked their place to Day 5 at the death!
Czechia (Women) complete the Quarter-Final bracket.
On the men’s side, the Chilean duo of Fabian Martinez and Kevin Rubio stood out for their versatile performance on both ends of the game while also grabbing huge points in two must-win games. Both sit high in the scoring charted with 26 and 24 points respectively.
On the women’s side, Japanese star Yua Emura was pulling strings all day, putting up 20 points. Her 12-point game led them to a comfortable win against Tunisia before her efforts bookended a superb result against Chile.