For the first time, Italy will bring home the 2018 FIBA 3X3 World Cup. And it came at the expense of defending champions Russia.
Behind the playmaking of pint-sized guard Rae Lin D’Alie, Italy stifled Russia, 16-12, in the finals of the Women’s 3×3 World Cup, Tuesday evening at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan.
Behind D’alie’s deceiving stepback jumpers, Italy raced to an early 5-2 lead.
But the defending champions were calm, rallying by imposing their size on the Italians for a 7-6 lead midway through the game.
Seizing the moment, D’Alie broke the ankles of Anna Leshkovtseva, then knocked down a stepback two-ball for the go-ahead shot.
Though Alexandra Stolyar and Anastasia Logunova tried to will Russia back, D’Alie and the Italian quartet were not to be denied. Late baskets by Giulia Rulli and Giulia Ciavarella sealed the win.
Italy’s previous highest place prior to this was fifth.
In the bronze medal match, France bested China, 21-14.
ITA 16 – D’alie 7, Rulli 4, Ciavarella 3, Filippi 2.
RUS 12 – Leshkovtseva 4, Stolyar 3, Logunova 3, Sapova 2.