The Canadian Women’s 3x3 team will leave Miami with a bronze medal in the inaugural FIBA 3x3 AmeriCup 2021. After a three-game slate on Sunday that included a 20-6 win against Mexico in the quarterfinals, and a 20-13 loss against Brazil in the semifinals, the Canadian women used a 6-0 run to take control in the bronze-medal game against Puerto Rico to earn an 18-12 victory and finish in third-place in the first ever FIBA 3x3 AmeriCup.
“We obviously came here to try to win gold, but there’s a bunch of great teams here,” Michelle Plouffe said. “We are super excited to see the South American [teams] come through and perform as they did. Props to them. We’re looking forward to next summer, and the next championships and we’re excited to see Brazil again in that [tournament].”
After a slow start in the third-place game against Puerto Rico, Paige Crozon caught fire and couldn't be stopped. Crozon finished with nine points in the victory, while Plouffe added five points, five rebounds and three key assists. Canada was solid on both ends of the floor against Puerto Rico, as Plouffe and Catherine Traer recorded two blocked shots apiece and the team's defence forced Puerto Rico into multiple shot-clock violations.
With the score tied at 8 points apiece, Canada reeled off six straight points to take a 14-8 lead. After the game, Plouffe shared why she has found so much joy in competing in 3x3.
“It’s really fun,” Plouffe said. “It’s a fun atmosphere for fans to just be able to come watch elite competitive athletes play basketball. It’s fast-paced, it's super physical. I like that style.”
Prior to the victory against Puerto Rico to win the bronze, Canada fell 20-13 to Brazil, despite a six-point, six-rebound effort from Plouffe, and a four-point, seven-rebound performance from Kacie Bosch as the Canadians as Vitoria Marcelino led Brazil with eight points.
In the team’s first game on Sunday, opening tournament play for the day with a 10 AM ET tip, Canada coasted to a 20-6 victory against Mexico behind a dominant 11-point performance from Plouffe.
Plouffe finished second overall in total points for the tournament with 36, trailing only the USA's Brionna Jones, who finished with 41 points. Crozon finished fifth in scoring with 26 total points.
“It was an early start this morning, but it was a bit cooler in Miami this morning so we weren't mad at all,” Traer said after the game.
The AmeriCup was Traer’s third 3x3 event since welcoming son Isaiah in April.
“It is pretty crazy,” Traey said. “I never could have expected to come back and play in the AmeriCupso quickly, but I'm so grateful for the opportunity and grateful to my teammates and to my country for the opportunity to be here today.”
Though the two-seeded Canadian men had a dominant first day in Miami to advance to the quarterfinals, they were tripped up by a strong Dominican Republic team on Sunday, falling 21-17.
The Canadians had a balanced-scoring effort in defeat, with Bikramjit Gill scoring five points and each of Steve Sir, Adika Peter-McNeilly and Alex Johnson contributing four points, but they were unable to overcome the size of a Dominican Republic team who outrebounded Canada 23-15, and had 15 more shot attempts in the game.