USA women qualify for Olympics as Gilas 3x3 finishes last in OQT

ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 31 2021 11:46 AM

USA women qualify for Olympics as Gilas 3x3 finishes last in OQT 1
3x3 teams celebrate after securing their spots in the Tokyo Olympics. FIBA.basketball

The powerhouse United States women's team completed a perfect campaign to book their ticket to the 3x3 event in the Tokyo Olympics, Sunday in Graz, Austria.

Meanwhile, Gilas Pilipinas 3x3 finished last among 20 teams in the men's division of the FIBA 3x3 Olympic Qualifying Tournament, after losing all four of their group round games and scoring just 48 points in total.

Team USA was bannered by WNBA stars Kelsey Plum, Stefanie Dolson, Katie Lou Samuelson and Allisha Gray. They were seeded eighth in the qualifiers, but thoroughly overwhelmed the competition en route to a 6-0 sweep.

After sweeping Pool A, Team USA crushed Belarus, 21-10, in the quarterfinals then demolished Spain, 21-13, to grab their ticket to the Tokyo Games.

Joining the USA women are France and Japan. 

France beat Japan in the quarterfinals with Marie-Eve Paget scoring the winning layup for a 15-14 final score, but Japan recovered in the last game with a thrilling 20-18 triumph over Spain. A buzzer-beater by Stephanie Mawuli ensured that Japan will compete in the women's 3x3 event in Tokyo.

The three teams join China, the Russian Olympic Committee, Romania, and Mongolia, who had already qualified for the Olympics based on the FIBA 3x3 Federation Rankings.

Meanwhile, Poland, the Netherlands, and Latvia finished as the top three teams in the men's division to also secure their spots in the Olympics. 

Poland defeated Latvia in the semifinals, 20-18, and the Netherlands were triumphant against France, 21-13.

Latvia went on to beat France, 21-15, in the last game of the OQT to claim the final Olympic berth at stake.

They complete the men's division in the Olympics, joining Serbia, the Russian Olympic Committee, China and Japan, who qualified via the FIBA 3x3 Federation Ranking.

The last spot in both categories will be decided at the FIBA 3x3 Universality Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Debrecen, Hungary, on June 4-6. 

Gilas Pilipinas 3x3, seeded 14th heading into the qualifiers, had a brutal campaign that saw them lose to Slovenia, France, Qatar, and the Dominican Republic. They lost all four games, including a shock 11-22 setback to the 18th seed Dominican Republic.

Croatia and Kazakhstan also went winless in the competition, but they scored 65 and 54 points, respectively, to finish above Gilas Pilipinas 3x3.

Joshua Munzon led the Philippines with 27 total points in four games, while CJ Perez had 15 points. Santi Santillan had four points, and Moala Tautuaa finished with two points before sitting out the last two games with a severe stiff neck.

Alvin Pasaol, the No. 2 ranked player in the Philippines, did not play in the qualifiers due to health and safety protocols.

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