Canada’s Men’s and Women’s teams reached the podium at the inaugural FIBA Americas 3x3 U18 Championships this past weekend. The U18 3x3 Men’s National Team captured the bronze medal at the event, while the U18 3x3 Women’s National Team proudly brought home the silver medal.
The Men’s field of competition was reduced by one due to the absence of Team Venezuela. Team Canada, consisting of Tyrell Bellot-Green (Mississauga, Ont.), Brody Clarke (Toronto, Ont.), Jamal Murray (Kitchener, Ont.) and Kalif Young (Toronto, Ont.) opened the competition with a 21-12 handling of Belize. The Canadians then held Puerto Rico to single digits in a 21-9 victory before closing-out the first day of competition with a dominant 22-3 performance versus Guatemala.
The U18 3x3 Women’s National Team made up of Shay Colley (Brampton, Ont.), Daneesha Provo (Dartmouth, N.S.), Shantelle Valentine (Brampton, Ont.) and Eternati Willock (Scarborough, Ont.) began day one by defeating Puerto Rico 16-6. The Red and White then registered a convincing 21-2 win over the U.S. Virgin Islands to cap the first day of the event.
The second and final day of competition started with the U18 3x3 Men’s National Team being edged 21-19 by Team USA. Canada closed out the preliminary round of the six-team competition with an 18-13 win against the U.S. Virgin Islands to finish with a 4-1 record. A determined Puerto Rican squad avenged a round one loss to the Canadians by squeaking past 21-18 in the semifinals. The resilient Canadians bounced back with a solid 20-6 victory over Belize in the Bronze-medal game.
After a 2-0 start to the four-team competition on the women’s side, Canada finished the preliminary round of competition by falling 21-4 to the United States to open the second day. Unperturbed, the Canadians showed strength and character in responding with a 21-1 dismantling of Puerto Rico in the semifinals. The Team Canada vs. Team USA rematch for the gold medal demonstrated the value of added experience and familiarity in building team chemistry. Canada came together and extended the Americans to their limits, but the United States just managed to prevail 17-15.
Executive director of Canada Basketball, Michele O’Keefe reflected on the first-ever FIBA Americas 3x3 U18 Championships, commenting that “This was a tremendous event as the teams prepare for the level of competition that lies ahead in Jakarta. Growing 3x3 and increasing its profile through this tournament was an important step in the continued development of the game across the globe.”
Canada’s Men’s and Women’s U18 3x3 national teams will take the knowledge and experience gathered at this event with them as they prepare for the FIBA 3x3 U18 World Championships from September 26 to 29. The competition will take place in the Indonesian capital of Jakarta where the best performances will earn teams the right to compete in the 2014 Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China.