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Tiebreaker Times

2018 FIBA 3X3 World Cup

WNBA Draft top pick Ionescu played in PH Arena two years ago

As expected, University of Oregon’s Sabrina Ionescu was selected as the first overall pick in the 2020 WNBA Draft held on Saturday morning (Manila time).

Ionescu, the NCAA’s all-time leader in career triple-doubles with 26, was picked by the New York Liberty.

And it immediately caused a firestorm in the New York area, as her jerseys immediately sold out everywhere.

But two years ago, the 5-foot-11 guard — who was just 20 years old back then — thrilled the Philippines as part of Team USA during the 2018 FIBA 3X3 World Cup held at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan.

Back then, USA Basketball sent over the Oregon core of Ionescu, Erin Boley, Otiona Gildon, and Ruthy Hebard to the global meet.

Though the youngest squad in the competition, Team USA dazzled in the group stages, beating Uganda (22-9), Iran (21-7), and Andorra (21-6). They then stunned then defending champion Russia (21-13) to sweep Pool C.

FIBA-3x3-World-Cup-2018-Ionescu WNBA Draft top pick Ionescu played in PH Arena two years ago 2018 FIBA 3X3 World Cup  - philippine sports news

“I think we have internal expectations for ourselves. I don’t think we really focus on any external expectations,” said Ionescu about their surprising start.

“So I think we’re focusing on what we can do better and continue to get better each day as a unit and individually.”

However, the Americans’ Cinderella run ended at the hands of Italy in the quarterfinals, bowing 14-17 to finish in fifth place among 20 squads.

Ionescu ended the tournament averaging 6.1 points per game.

The rest, as they say, was history.

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