By Vivem Soriano
Eagle News Service
Serbia edged rivals the Netherlands, 16-13, to capture their third straight men’s 3×3 crown in a rematch of last year’s finals while Italy dethroned defending women’s champions Russia, 16-12, as the 2018 FIBA 3×3 World Cup came to a close at the Philippine Arena.
Dusan Bulut led Team Serbia in the finals, scoring 7 points to lift the 3-time defending champions in a come-from-behind win over back-to-back runners-up the Netherlands. Stefan Stojacic added 4 for the Serbs, Marko Savic had 3 while Dejan Majstorovic contributed 2 points for the champions.
Jesper Jobse led the Dutch to the silver medal with 5 points, Sjoerd van Vilsteren had 4 while Dimeo Van der Horst added 3 for the runners-up.
This 2018 victory is also the fourth overall championship for Serbia since 2012 in men’s 3×3.
In the men’s bronze medal battle, Gasper Ovnik scored 10 points to lift Slovenia over Poland, 21-16.
In the women’s side, crowd darling Rae-Rae D’Alie scored 7 points to lead Italy to a 16-12 victory over defending champions Russia as the Italians captured their first ever 3×3 gold.
Italy had a hot 3-0 start but it didn’t take long for Russia to tie the ballgame up at 7-all.
But the Italians will not be denied as D’Alie connected from downtown to spark a big run that gave Italy a 6-point lead to put them on top for good and finally wrest the 3×3 crown from the Russians.
Giulia Rulli added 4 points for the new world champions, Giulia Ciavarella scored 3 while Marcella Filippi had 2.
Anna Leshkovtseva led the Russians with 4 points, Anastasia Iogunova and Alexandra Stolyar each had 3 while Liudmilla Sapova added 2 points.
Meanwhile, in the women’s third place game, France defeated China, 21-14, to capture the bronze medal.
Serbia’s Dulut was named men’s tournament MVP. He was also named to the men’s team of the tournament together with Dutch baller Jobse and Poland’s Michael Hicks.
The women’s team of the tournament meanwhile was composed of women’s MVP D’Alie of Italy, Russia’s Leshkovtseva and China’s Jiayin Jiang.