Burdick brings home first win to USA in 2023 at the FIBA 3x3 Women’s Series Pristina Stop
PRISTINA (Kosovo) - In a rematch of the FIBA 3x3 World Cup final 2023 in Vienna, it was USA yet again that took home the win against France in a thrilling 13-14 game in the FIBA 3x3 Women’s Series Pristina Stop 2023 on July 14-15.
Here’s what happened at the eleventh stop of the series.
The Winners: USA
Game one for the Americans, though a rout against Azerbaijan where they went on a 21-0 run, showed us exactly what to expect from them. Cierra Burdick would be the heart of the side, taking over the boards as well as setting her teammates up throughout the game for easy buckets. Camille Zimmernan and Blake Dietrick took full advantage of Burdick’s spacing while Caroline Littlefield would provide the defense.
Their next matchup against Gyor brought more of the same as USA closed out the group undefeated.
The Quarter-finals was the Burdick show. Going up against a lethal Netherlands side led by Natalie Van Den Adel, it wasn’t gonna be an easy task. For the two-time World Cup winner though, it was time to shine. She was everywhere, locking down on defense, creating her usual chances for her teammates but also taking it to the Dutch on the offensive front. She put up a whopping 10 points and 6 rebounds in the tie.
The Semi-finals game was against an Israel side that had shown grit all tournament, losing barely to France in their opener before beating Hungary and Düsseldorf ZOOS. This time it was Zimmerman’s turn who put up a monstrous 8 points and 10 rebounds to book a spot for USA in the finals.
It wasn’t the smoothest start for Les Bleues. They went up against an Israel team led by the firepower of Drew Edelman. The French side came away with the win with Noémie Brochant draining a dagger two in OT. Their next game was more typical of France as they dispatched Hungary with huge offensive displays from Coline Franchelin and Anna Ngo Ndjock.
They headed into the Quarter-finals knowing just how difficult Lithuania can be to contain when they get rolling. What they got was exactly what they wished against. Martyna Petrenaite got some huge buckets for Lithuania, but each time they thought they were cutting into the French dominance, they kept getting sent a step back. Though a close game, it was France that emerged victorious.
It set up a monster semi-final clash between two contending sides that had been unbeaten so far. France against Neftchi.
It was an early start for France off the back of crucial twos by Jodie Cornélie and Ndjock. Brochant caught fire as well, draining back to back twos that sealed the fate of the commercial side from Azerbaijan.
We had the final battle, a rematch from the finals in Vienna.
France 13 - 14 USA
USA came out swinging. Dietrick and Zimmerman ran rings around France as Burdick kept setting them up. They took a dominant 1-7 lead and it felt like France’s stumbling start might end up costing them the win.
It didn’t take long for the French to battle back. After a couple buckets from Franchelin and Cornelie, the game quickly evolved into a shoot-off, with both teams trading buckets back and forth. It was Burdick’s acumen that always kept the Americans a step ahead though, securing crucial plays to keep her side into the tie.
Zimmerman put her side up by 4 with a minute to go, but the French just wouldn’t quit. They battled relentlessly, almost getting back into it after a huge And-One from Brochant took the lead down to one. The end was a mad scramble as France tried to claw a win.
With seconds left, Cornelie had the opportunity for a miracle. Zimmerman got the ball stolen by Brochant. The pass to Cornelie was just a tad past the regulation as she chucked up a prayer of a two, which was good. The miracle was a second away from being a reality as USA were crowned winners of the FIBA 3x3 Women’s Series Pristina Stop 2023.
MVP - Cierra Burdick
Cierra Burdick was named MVP for her all-encompassing efforts on the court, showing multiple times she can get buckets at will and set up her side on both ends of the court.
3. Neftchi (AZE)
5. Dusseldorf ZOOS (GER)
6. Gyor (HUN)
We head back to France as the FIBA 3x3 Women’s Series Bordeaux Stop 2023 takes place on July 19 - 20.