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Holly MacKenzie

Canadian Women's 3x3 Team secures ticket to Paris Olympics



May 19, 2024

DEBRECEN, Hungary (May 19, 2024) - The Canadian Women’s 3x3 Team is headed to Paris. Thanks to a dominant 21-10 victory against host-team Hungary in the third-place game at the FIBA 3x3 Olympic Qualifying Tournament on Sunday, Canada earned their ticket to the Paris Olympics this summer.

Kacie Bosch, Paige Crozon, Katherine and Michelle Plouffe become the country’s first-ever 3x3 team to qualify for an Olympic Games.

“It hasn’t quite set in yet, however being here with everybody now, it feels a little more real,” Bosch said. “Being on the court with everybody as the confetti is falling, you get the goosebump moment and then it kind of clicks in that you’re going to be an Olympian.”

The Canadians were led by a nine-point, five rebound performance from Katherine Plouffe against Hungary, while Michelle Plouffe added eight points and eight rebounds as Canada dominated the glass, outrebounding Hungary 22-11, including 9-5 on the offensive glass.

Canada shook off a tough last-second loss to Spain in the semifinals to come out strong against Hungary, going ahead 3-0 to start the game. After three straight baskets from Katherine Plouffe, Canada led by six.

A block from Katherine Plouffe ended with a fadeaway jumper for Crozon and then a two-point play from Michelle Plouffe extended the advantage to seven, 12-5, for the Canadians with 4:30 remaining. Crozon and the Plouffe sisters are the founding members of the Canadian 3x3 squad who have been working for the past five seasons to make it to an Olympic games.

“Nobody is more deserving than those three,” Bosch said. “They built this program from the ground up. They were going on their own money, they were booking their own trips, they were doing everything, just themselves. I always say being a small part in their journey making it to the Olympics is what drives me every single day. I do it for them because they are so deserving of this.”

Canada led Hungary 18-10 with 1:32 remaining. After back-to-back buckets from Katherine Plouffe, it was Crozon who grabbed an offensive board off of her own missed shot and scored the game-winning, Olympics-clinching basket with 30 seconds remaining on the clock. Jumping into the air in celebration, she raced to her teammates to celebrate on court.

“[This feels] so so good,” Katherine Plouffe said. “I just don’t have many words. We knew we were going to do it. And that it would be the hard way. We just had a chip on our shoulder that it’s meant to be like this. We’re so grateful. It’s like a sigh of relief, of gratitude, of all the things for the people who got us here. It’s just such a team effort.”

Prior to Canada’s victory against Hungary, the team dropped a 19-18 last-second decision to Spain in the semifinals as Gracia Alonso connected on an overhead backward-heave at the buzzer to secure Spain’s ticket to Paris. Spain opened the game on a 6-0 run and Canada spent the semifinal fighting from behind, finally tying the score on a basket from Michelle Plouffe with 10 seconds remaining.

“We’re pretty good at refocusing and compartmentalizing everything,” Bosch said. “As soon as we knew we had one more game [to play] we were immediately going to film, we were getting treatment, we were moving into the next phase, like, ‘Okay this is the game we need to win against the home team. Do whatever we need to do to get by’, and we did it.”

Earlier in the day, Canada defeated Italy 21-8 in the quarterfinals behind nine point-performances from Crozon and Katherine Plouffe. Canada was in control throughout, opening the game on a 9-1 run. Back-to-back two-pointers from Crozon (her third and fourth of the game), made it 19-7 Canada with 2:30 remaining and then the Plouffe sisters closed things out with a bucket first from Katherine and then Michelle giving Canada the 21-8 victory.

Katherine Plouffe led all scorers in Hungary, finishing with 43 points across six games, with Michelle was right behind her with 42 points scored. Michelle was also the top rebounder at the tournament, finishing with 37 rebounds, including 18 on the offensive glass.