Facing Netherlands (4-2) in the quarterfinals at the FIBA 3×3 Olympic Qualifying Tournament on May 30 in Graz, Austria, the USA 3×3 Men’s National Team (3-2) saw its dream of qualifying for the inaugural Olympic 3×3 competition dashed with a 21-16 loss.
Netherlands made four 2-pointers in the last 3:38, accounting for eight of its final 11 points to hold off the USA.
Netherlands went on to qualify for the Olympics after beating France in the semifinals. Poland (5-1) beat Latvia (6-1) to earn the other semifinal berth, and Latvia beat France (5-2) in the third-place game to earn the final men’s Olympic spot.
“Obviously, it’s not the ending we wanted,” said Joe Lewandowski (USA 3×3 Men’s National Team coach/advisor). “One of the first things on my mind is what great representatives of USA Basketball and the country these men were. They were a pleasure to work with. They laid It on the line every day. They sacrificed so much, and for so long, for this opportunity, and there’s a lot to be taken from that that perseverance and sacrifice.”
All four USA team members contributed points in the game, led by eight points from Joey King (Minnesota/Eagan, Minn.), and four times the USA led in the game, including 6-5 with 6:39 remaining in the game.
Netherlands evened the score, 6-6, at 6:29, and proceeded to build a 12-8 lead at 4:42. The USA tied it 12-12 with two points from King and Kareem Maddox (Princeton/Los Angeles, Calif.), who made the USA’s only 2 of the game.
Two quick 2s by Netherlands put them up 16-12, and the USA got no closer than three points, 19-16, with 1:25 to play. With the USA in the foul penalty, Netherlands made two free throws to end the game 21-16 with 1:04 on the clock. Robbie Hummel (Purdue/Valparaiso, Ind.) and Dominique Jones (Fort Hays State/Harlem, N.Y.) each had two points.
Netherlands finished the game shooting 14-25 overall, including 5-of-13 from 2-point, while the USA shot 15-of-25 but was just 1-of-6 from 2-point.
“Netherlands did a great job,” Lewandowski said. “They answered every call. I thought our guys kept battling, and Netherlands continued to make plays.”
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