Canada unstoppable at home in FIBA 3x3 Quebec Stop 2023
QUEBEC (Canada) - Home Nation Canada reveled in dominant run, defeating USA U24 21-19 in the final to win the FIBA 3x3 Women’s Series Quebec Stop 2023 on August 18-19.
Here’s the breakdown of the eighteenth stop of the season.
The Winners: Canada
Ever since they got rolling, they’ve proven just why they are the Reigning champs of the Women’s Series.
Having won their last two stops in Edmonton and Prague respectively, Canada were out for a three peat. Jamie Scott fit in perfectly in their last stop and was back with the usual trio of Michelle and Katherine Plouffe along with sharpshooting Paige Crozon.
The Plouffe sisters showcased just what makes them the two best players in the world, Katherine grabbing 9 rebounds and 5 assists while Michelle put up 11 points in their opener against New Zealand.
Their next matchup was without a doubt, the clash everyone wanted to say. It was the U24 side for team USA, led by World Cup Gold Medalists in Cameron Brink and Hailey Van Lith. It was a close battle, with both teams showing exactly what to expect. Katherine matched up to Brink’s size with her physicality while Van Lith had to contend with Crozon and Scott switching defensive assignments on her. Baines and Taylor were huge on the offensive side while managing to deter the Canadians. Ultimately, it was Canada that emerged victorious with a 16-14 score line.
Against Romania, it was Scott and Crozon that combined for 16 points, scoring 5 twos to lead their side to a comfortable win, ending Group Play undefeated.
It was the Michelle Plouffe show in the Semi-Finals as she put up 12 points against Italy while grabbing 6 rebounds. Katherine was just as immense with a 6-point, 9-rebound display. Italy’s Laura Spreafico fought hard on the offensive side with 9 points but it just wasn’t enough as Canada booked their spot in the final.
Runners-up: USA U24
Team USA U24 started off their campaign on fire, defeating Romania comfortably off the back of a monstrous performance from Cameron Brink who hit the ground running in her second-ever 3x3 tournament. Her 10 points and 7 rebounds only partly speak on her impact, being an unshakable defensive presence by the rim.
They suffered a loss to Canada despite the team coming together and relying on a collective scoring effort rather than iso plays.
Sydney Taylor and Brink were crucial against New Zealand as they picked up a 21 - 4 victory. Taylor put up 6 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists in the result.
They took on the sharpshooting Chile side in the Quarter-final. Brink and Taylor combined for 14 points while Van Lith got some timely buckets. The team had found their groove, each honing on their side of the game to come together as a side. Brink put the ball on the floor more often and created opportunities for herself and her team, Baines was a defensive stalwart and a capable scorer, Taylor was agile while also offering versatility. Van Lith was unstoppable on her way to the rim and capable of making difficult shots from deep.
Their game against Germany was a showcase of their defensive acumen. Rodefeld started off hot with a two, but it didn’t take long for the Americans to find their rhythm, Van Lith making huge shots before Taylor joined in on the action. They maintained a 15-10 lead, but that’s when Germany started to rally back. A huge two from Greinacher pulled made the score 16-15. Van Lith found Brink soon after who scored the lay for a 17-15 lead. The last minute was USA U24 having Germany in a chokehold, deterring them from the shot from deep, forcing them to drive in which was emphatically blocked by Brink.
The win set up a rematch from Day 1, it would be the blockbuster clash of Canada against USA U24.
Canada 21 - 19 USA U24
Canada got off to a hot start with the Plouffe sisters combining early to give the side a 3-0 lead. Baines answered back, putting up two quick buckets to pull themselves back. It was all team USA for the coming stretch, HVL and Taylor draining buckets from all distances to hand them a 4 point lead. Katherine Plouffe was first to start chipping away into the deficit before Paige Crozon took over. Beyond her range, it was her drives that caused problems for team USA.
A close game for the most part, it was the second half of the action that would upend things for the Americans. Off-ball and technical fouls gave Canada multiple opportunities to increase their advantage, soon finding themselves with a 19-14 lead, inches away from victory.
But USA U24 weren’t done, Brink, Baines and Van Lith chipped away at the lead all while playing lockdown defense, Brink at the rim and Baines on the perimeter caused havoc for Canada, sending them cold near the end. With just over a minute to go, it was 19 - 19. Michelle Plouffe hunted her shot, but lost the ball. Crozon gathered and found Michelle again. With the shot clock winding down, she side-stepped away from Taylor and heaved a two which would be good. It was 21-19 and Canada had won their fourth spot of the season.
MVP - Michelle Plouffe and Katherine Plouffe
For the first time ever, we had Co-MVPs and it could not have been more fitting with the Plouffe sisters who both are crucial to the success of Canada. Michelle finished as top scorer and top Player Value with 33 points and a score of 46.3 respectively. She also had the most assists in the tournament with 15. Katherine Plouffe wasn’t far behind, second in that list with 9 assists and a whopping 33 rebounds.
2. USA U24
6. New Zealand
The FIBA 3x3 Women’s Series returns to Azerbaijan next as the Baku stop 2023 takes place on August 22-23.