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Joined: Oct 1999
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Marty Offline OP
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3x3 - Five boys teams off to perfect start, Swiss and Belizeans turn heads

The rain prevented the action from taking place on the outdoor courts at the Jos� Caballero Sports Centre on Day 1 of the FIBA 3x3 U18 World Championships, presented by Nike.

However, the quality and excitement of the games played inside the Amaya Valdemoro Pavilion weren't at all affected by the weather.

The Boys' Tournament saw a good number of games go down to the wire and there were some impressive buzzer-beaters to be had.

Early in the day, hosts Spain edged out Brazil 13-12 on Dario Brizuela's stepback jumper.

Romania needed overtime and an incredible shot by Vlad Stoicoviciu to get past Latvia 17-16.

The Romanians weren't the only team that had to play an extra session for a win.

The USA did so in beating hosts Spain and did so in style, taking a 13-12 win on Rondae Hollis-Jefferson's thundering dunk, while Mikhail Kulagin burried a clutch three-pointer to edge Russia past Australia 17-16.

By the end of the day, Canada, Serbia, Bulgaria, Russia were the five only unbeaten teams (4-0) and there were some surprise performances by several small basketball nations.

Switzerland won their first three games - against Estonia, Venezuela and Jordan - before falling to the mighty Russians, the only team with a better record than them in Group C.

Belize turned quite a few heads as they beat Poland and China and came close to handing the Canadians their first loss in Group A.

"It's very fun and competitive. We're one of the smallest teams in this tournament and we have to compete very hard to win," said Brian White.

"It's the first time a Central American team is in this tournament. It's great to know that we came from Belize, a small country and beat teams like Poland and China.

"We've played for years together so we know one another."

The action resumes on Saturday, when the 32 teams will play the last of their group games. The teams that finish first in the four groups qualify for Sunday's Quarter-Finals while those who finish second and third advance to the Eight-Finals.


Joined: Oct 1999
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Marty Offline OP
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3X3 Basketballers doing well in Spain

The president of the Belize Basketball Federation, Paul Thompson, spoke to News Five last Tuesday when they were short on funds to send the Under Eighteen three by three basketball team to the World Championships being held this week. Well, the team made it to Spain and the games got underway on Thursday. By this morning, the team was making impressive gains in the tournament. According to a report on the FIBA website, "Belize turned quite a few heads as they beat Poland and China and came close to handing the Canadians their first loss in Group A." It is the first time that a Central American team is participating in the tournament and as one of the smallest teams, the athletes are proud of their performance so far. One of the players, Brian White, told FIBA that while it's fun, it is also very competitive and they are playing hard to win. The games continue on Saturday, when the thirty-two teams will play the last of their group games. The teams that top their groups will then qualify for Sunday's Quarter-Finals while those who finish second and third will advance to the Eight-Finals.

Channel 5

Joined: Oct 1999
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Marty Offline OP
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3 on 3 Boys Represented Well

Last week, we told you about Belize's Under 18 - 3 On 3 National Team making a big showing in the World basketball 3 on 3 championships in Seville, Spain.

The team turned heads when they defeated Poland and China, and almost making it to finals after being edged out by New Zealand, with whom they were tied for 3rd place in their pool.

It's an impressive performance for a team that almost couldn't find financial support to participate in the first place, and so, when the team came home today, we asked about the experiences.

Here's what they told us:

Brandon Flowers - Member, 3 On 3 National Team
"I did my part, and we just went out there and decided that we were going to beat one of the best teams. We came out victorious in the tournament. I contributed a lot to the team as well because I also made some big baskets to put the team up in situations whereby they were down. It was a great experience because I never knew I would have made it so far, but those guys were great. They gave us a competition, and we tried our best, but we couldn't defeat them. They were all great teams."

Akeem Watters - Member, 3 On 3 National Team
"My experience was not low; it was very high. I wasn't afraid because I had the experience before, so I was mentally prepared. For the team, we were all excited. After the game against China, we looked at the Chinese players, and they were holding their heads in disbelief, not understand what just happened. At first they didn't know about Belize. I told them, 'If you didn't know, now you do.' That's what I told them."

Brian White - Member, 3 On 3 National Team
"The tournament was great. I wanted to win all my games, but the size - we don't have the size, but we do have the speed over them. I think that next year, if we go back, we can do much better because we already experienced what it's like. We're going to hit the gym and do different stuff to be very competitive and make it hard for them to beat us."

Daniel Ortiz
"I know that you guys gave a performance defeating China and Poland, which turned heads at the international level because, here's a small country that no one knows about. Tell us what it's like to play basketball at a competitive level that is as high as theirs."

Brian White
"Well, it is very great. To start off, it wasn't that hard to defeat them because they only had size over us. When it came to speed, it was very easy because if you gave them a head fake, they'll fall for it because they like to block given that they have the size over us. So, with our quickness, we beat them off the dribble very easily, so, it wasn't that hard to say, 'Oh, we defeated them.' But, we were the underdogs; everybody knew that because we were the smallest team in the competition. I knew that we were going to do great, even though we were smaller."

Matthew Smiling - Coach, 3 On 3 National Team
"It was very pleasing to me to know that we are not doing what people are doing in terms of preparation for these kinds of tournaments, and we still competed."

We note that the under 18 crew did better than the seniors who went to New York to play in a smaller tournament and did not manage to get a single win.

Channel 7

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