It took two clutch performances to book the two protagonists for the 2018 FIBA 3×3 World Cup Finals.
To open the semifinals, defending FIBA 3X3 World Cup champion Russia had to dig deep to book its ticket back to the finals, needing to outlast France in a 19-17 win, Tuesday afternoon.
With both teams giving their all during regulation, baskets were hard to come by for both sides.
Anastasia Logunova was able to find a mismatch underneath, drawing a foul on floor general Marie-Eve Paget. The 192 centimeter-tall Russian knocked down both free throws with ease for the win.
Russia had to claw back from a 10-5 deficit with four minutes remaining. Then, it was a back-and-forth affair.
A split on the stripe by Christelle Diallo gave France a 16-15 lead but was answered right back by a clutch two-ball courtesy of Alexandra Stolyar. Needing a basket, Diallo was able to clean up an Alice Nayo miss to send the game into overtime.
Standing in their way is Rae Lin D’alie and Italy.
The Italians outlasted Asia’s best team in China, 15-13, in overtime.
With the game tied at 13-all in overtime, D’alie was able to clean up her miss early and find a wide-open Marcella Filippi on the wing. Filippi calmly knocked down the two-ball for the win.
Italy was down 11-13 lwith 1:06 left before Giulia Clavarella converted a jumper. With 23 seconds remaining, D’alie – just as she has done all tournament long – scored a turnaround jumper over Jiang Jiayin to send the game into extra time.
RUS 19 — Leshkovtseva 8, Logunova 5, Stolyar 5, Sapova 1.
FRA 17 — Diallo 8, Paget 5, Tayeau 3, Nayo 1.
ITA 15 — D’Alie 10, Ciavarella 3, Filippi 2, Rulli 0.
CHN 13 — Jiang 6, Zhang 4, Li 2, Sun 1.