VIENNA (Austria) - Hosts Austria (men) put on an unbelievable display while China (women) continue on recent momentum as both teams go perfect on Day 2 of the Vienna FIBA 3x3 World Cup 2023 on May 31.
The Rathausplatz was rocking every time Austria stepped onto the court, and the team returned the favor by picking up two hugely entertaining wins. First taking on Slovenia, it took no time for the passion of Nico Kaltenbrunner to drive his team forward, getting crucial boards and buckets for his team as they picked up a 21-15 win.
Matthias Linortner was the star though, combining for a total of 17 points over both games, none more important than the deep dagger in the dying seconds against Australia to finish the comeback in front of the roaring Vienna crowd. They got the second win with a score of 17-15.
Team USA showed out too, going unbeaten against Latvia and Australia. The opening game was the Jimmer show, going off for 11 points to lead his side to a 21-17 W. The tie against Australia was total team effort, with all four contributing heavily to pick up a huge 21-18 victory.
On the women’s side, it would come as no surprise that the team that’s been dominating in the Women’s Series over the past few weeks would come on out to Vienna and put on a clinic. China showed no mercy to their opponents, winning both their games by huge margins no less.
The first tie against Israel gave us a glimpse at MVP Wang as she put up 12 points to close the game out, 21 - 4. The game against Lithuania showed us the gritty side of China. When their offense wasn’t clicking, they resorted to using their physicality to gain control. Ji Yuan Wan got the buckets while Lili Wang and ZhiTing Zhang picked up the boards, pulling away with a 17 - 7 win.
Another team that has been consistently strong in recent weeks has been Australia. Forming one of the most complete sides in the tournament, they played in the same fashion, going perfect on the day.
Despite the pace of Japan, the Australian side had no trouble taking care of business as Marena Whittle and Alex Wilson combined for 19 points in the game, winning 22 - 11. Their game against Lithuania was no different. A tandem offensive effort from Whittle and Anneli Maley sealed the deal in the favor of the Aussies as they won 21-14.
Italy’s Raelin D'Alie showcased her speed and acumen, picking up 9 points in a 20 - 15 win against Romania. It was the second game however, where she REALLY took off. With a close game in play against Lithuania, Rae Rae went deep in her bag and drained huge twos, forcing OT. With the next point deciding the game, she pulled off an exquisite step-through to lead her side to a perfect Day 2.
On his 3x3 World Cup debut, Netherland’s Worthy De Jong brought the vibes and the highlights. Slams, steals and game winning twos. Worthy went off in both games against Mongolia and Japan. You gotta see it to believe it.
The elimination rounds start taking shape tomorrow as the deciding games for group C and group A take place. You don't wanna miss the action.