TOKYO, July 25 (Reuters) – The number one seed Serbia remained perfect in the Olympic 3 × 3 men’s basketball tournament on Sunday, as the Japanese women shocked the much-loved France team.
3 × 3 basketball saw a lot of upheaval in its debut at the Summer Games, but Serbia’s dominance continued. The four-man team led by Dusan Domovic Bulut beat Poland and a strong Belgian side on Sunday to rise to the top of the men’s division on their own with a 4-0 record.
“We weren’t teammates before that so I think we can play better and better with every game,” said Bulut, the first real 3 × 3 basketball superstar. “We’re still exploring each other and what we can do. “
The Japanese eliminated Mongolia without a win before hanging on to France 19-15 in the evening. The score was almost even among the Japanese players, who used quick passes and opportune two-pointers to surprise their top-ranked opponents.
“I think one of the strengths of the Japanese team is that we cover each other and score points together to compensate for points where we are not as strong,” said Mai Yamamoto, who forced a turn. -over with 22 seconds to go to allow his team to miss the time.
The Mongolian women, without a win so far, were cheered by Prime Minister Luvsannamsrain Oyun-Erdene, one of the few dignitaries to travel to the Games reduced due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
French President Emmanuel Macron and United States First Lady Jill Biden attended a match between their compatriots on Saturday as 3 × 3 basketball made its Olympic debut.
Italy defeated Romania 22-14, with Raelin D’Alie an impressive five-for-five from the two-point line. But D’Alie’s heroism was not enough to defeat the Chinese women’s team, which repeatedly went 6’5 ″ Zhang Zhiting for the hoop buckets, beating Italy 22-13. Italy are now 2-2 in the tournament, which features eight teams each for men and women.
With its debut at the Olympics, 3 × 3 seeks to strengthen its global profile as a faster, more compact alternative to basketball.
DJs play hip-hop music throughout the 3 × 3 competitive games, in keeping with the sport’s urban roots.
The medal matches will take place on Wednesday.
Reporting by Rocky Swift; Editing by Peter Rutherford and Ed Osmond
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