September 17, 2022
Daily Briefing — Sept. 17, 2022: FIBA Nations League, Women’s Series headline thrilling week of 3×3 play
Plus: World Cup roster updates
Happy Saturday! Welcome to The Next’s Daily Briefing. As the WNBA Finals continue, the 3×3 world is also moving toward its top events of the year. The Nations League 3×3 Final wrapped up Friday evening in Constanta, Romania. Billed as a “development program for men and women under the age of 23,” the event featured 12 teams from around the world. Teams qualified for the event by competing in a series of six one-day events called Stops within a set of 11 conference events. The top-ranked teams at the conclusion of each conference qualified for the 3×3 Final in Constanta, and 57 nation federations submitted teams for this year’s events.
After two days of pool play, eight teams qualified for the quarterfinals. The USA defeated the Lithuania Under-21 (U21) team, 22–11, and advanced to the semifinal, where it faced reigning champions France (U23), which had just edged Hungary in the quarterfinal, 13–11. Meanwhile, the top-ranked France U21 team beat Japan 21–13 and would face Italy, which had pulled a resounding 18–8 upset over third-ranked China to advance to the semifinal.
Eventually, both French teams came out victorious, posting the same scores and nearly the same margin of victory: 21–12 for the U21 team over Italy and 21–13 for the U23 team over the USA. In the hotly contested final, the U23 French team prevailed, beating the U21 team 22–17. Camille Droguet was named MVP after leading all scorers for the tournament. With 72 points scored across all matches played, the USA placed third overall. (Missed the games and want to watch back the action? Have no fear! Day 1 and Day 2 of pool play, as well as the quarterfinals, semifinals and final, are all free to watch on the FIBA 3×3 YouTube channel.)
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The French women’s teams have now won virtually every major 3×3 competition they’ve entered in 2022, including the World Cup, the EuroCup and now the Nations League. Now, the French senior team will head into the Women’s Series, which has become one of the most important events for professional 3×3. The event began earlier today in Constanta, Romania. At the conclusion of Day 1, Team Canada leads Pool A with two wins and 43 points scored, while Team USA leads Pool B with two wins and 37 points scored. The event is available to livestream on the FIBA 3×3 YouTube channel for free.
Meanwhile, the 2022 5×5 FIBA World Cup barrels ever closer. With games beginning on Sept. 22, players who are still active in the WNBA Finals may have between two and four days to travel to Sydney, Australia, before matches begin. The final team to submit a preliminary roster, Team China, announced who would be on its World Cup team earlier this week. The squad will feature the New York Liberty’s Han Xu and the Chicago Sky’s Li Yueru, as expected. Elsewhere, Team USA continues to make edits to its team, as the Las Vegas Aces’ Jackie Young is no longer listed on its preliminary roster.
- Our Matthew Walter walks through a lackluster Game 3 performance from the Aces and the changes to their game plan and mindset they’ll look to make in Game 4.
- Our Jenn Hatfield brings you the next installment in The Next’s family rivalries series, this time featuring cousins and basketball phenoms DeLisha Milton-Jones and Haley Jones.
- WNBA.com’s Mark Schindler cracks open the film to investigate how the connection between Jonquel Jones and Alyssa Thomas helped revive the Connecticut Sun in Game 3.
- The Washington Post’s Kareem Copeland took a deep dive on prioritization and what the WNBA and its top players are saying about its impact on the 2023 season.
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Written by Isabel Rodrigues
Isabel Rodrigues (she/her) is a contributing writer for The Next from upstate New York who regularly covers 3x3 and the state of women's basketball in the U.S. and internationally.