BOCAUE, Bulacan – It will be Russia against Italy in the finals of the women's division of the 2018 FIBA 3x3 Basketball World Cup, after both semifinals games on the women's side went into overtime on Tuesday at the Philippine Arena.
Russia came from behind to outlast France in overtime, while Italy recovered from a slow start and rode the hot hand of Rae Lin D'Alie to stun top overall seed China in the other semis game.
Russia 19, France 17 (OT)
Defending champion Russia rallied from an 8-3 deficit to outlast France in overtime and return to the finals of the FIBA 3x3 World Cup.
Anastasia Iogunova drained the game-winning free throws in overtime, after France's Marie-Eve Paget was called for a foul on the much-taller player in the cross-match.
But it initially appeared as though the sixth-seeded French team would come away with an upset win over the fifth-seeded Russians, as they led, 8-3, early and were still up, 10-6, off a Paget jumper with just under four minutes left.
That was when Russia began to go to work, uncorking a 9-2 run to seize a 15-12 lead. Christelle Diallo led France's comeback, scoring four straight points for a 16-15 lead.
Russia surged ahead, 17-15, off a clutch jumper by Alexandra Stolyar, but Diallo responded by scoring off a baseline jumper for the tie, sending the game to overtime.
France wasted several chances in the extra period, with Alice Nayo and Paget both badly misfiring, before Paget was called for the crucial foul that paved the way for Iogunova's game-winning charities.
Italy 15, China 13 (OT)
China got off to a quick 4-0 start before Rae Lin D'Alie got her rhythm, nailing shots from all over the floor to bring Italy back into the contest.
The top-seeded Chinese women were still ahead, 12-9, thanks to the inside dominance of Zhang ZhiTing who converted back-to-back lay-ups inside the paint. But a lay-up by Giulia Ciavarella and a D'Alie jumper made it a one-point game, 11-12, before Li Sun connected on an inside bucket for a 13-11 count with 1:21 to go.
Italy, however, refused to go away quietly. Ciavarella scored on another jumper, and D'Alie knocked down an absolutely cold-blooded jump shot for a 13-all tie.
D'Alie got her lay-up blocked as the time expired, sending the game into the sudden-death overtime where the first team to get a two-point cushion wins. There, D'Alie again came up big as she grabbed the rebound off her own miss, then fired a perfect pass to Marcella Filippi who calmly knocked down the long jumper.
It was Filippi's only two points of the ball game, but they were enough to send Italy to the finals of the 3x3 World Cup for the first time ever.
"Puso!" D'Alie yelled to the crowd at the Philippine Arena after the game, much to the delight of the predominantly Filipino crowd who came to watch the finals of the 3x3 World Cup on Independence Day.
D'Alie scored 10 points for Italy, while Ciavarella added three points. Jiang JiaYin had six points for China, while Zhang finished with four points.
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