The biggest stage of the FIBA 3x3 Basketball format, the 1st Youth World Championship (YWC) for U18 Boys & Girls in Rimini, Italy, concluded on Sunday, September 11th, with New Zealand Boys & Spain Girls being crowned champions. Indian teams, who also took part in the competition, finished in the bottom half of the standings, with the Girls ranking 16th and Boys 29th
In a close final, New Zealand Boys' sneaked past Bulgaria to claim the gold medal at the tournament with a 19-18 win. Bulgaria finished at second place, and hosts Italy received the Bronze medal.
In the Girls' final, Spain were against the host team, Italy, whom they beat in a close game 16-15. Third-place for girls went to Japan.
India's sides didn't have a tournament to remember, but were able to play against teams from all over the world, an experience that the young players are sure to remember forever. In just three days, India's boys played 12 games, against Korea, Puerto Rico, Estonia, Slovenia, Sri Lanka, Ukraine, Greece, Tunisia, South Africa, Netherlands, and Singapore. The girls played nine games, against varied nations such as USA (twice), Italy, Sweden, Guam, Sri Lanka, China, Angola, and Ukraine.
Pitted in Group A with eight other teams, India’s boys side started their tournament in side, defeating heavily favoured South Korea 17-16. Unfortunately, their luck turned from there onwards, as India lost their next three match-ups, to Puerto Rico, Estonia, and Slovenia. Before the day ended, India found something to cheer when they defeated Sri Lanka for their second win of the group stage.
After starting the second day with a 2-3 record, India's boys needed a few wins on Saturday to climb up into the top four of Group A to be able to qualify for the knockout round. Unfortunately, India lost all three of their group games on Saturay against Ukraine, Greece, and Tunisia, to find themselves finish at seventh place (out of nine) in their group. India had a 2-6 record in the group stage and found themselves out of contention for the qualifying round. On Saturday evening, India played in a classification game against Egypt, but lost it 19-18.
On the final day, India played three classification games: the Boys lost their first game of the day to South Africa, but their resolve improved from then onwards. India defeated the Netherlands, and in their last game, defeated Singapore in classification games to finish at 29th place (out of 36) in the tournament.
India’s girls, who were in Group C with five other teams, played four matches on Friday. India lost their first three games to difficult opponents – USA, hosts Italy, and Sweden – but managed to safe face before the day finished for a big, 22-8 win over Guam.
On Saturday, the Girls won a crucial game against Sri Lanka, 15-13, to finish in the top four (out of six teams) of their group and qualify for the Knockout round of 16. In the knockout-round, India (ranked 16th) played against USA (ranked 1st) for the second time in two days. USA beat India in this game 15-7. India then played in a 9-16 classification game against China, which they also lost, 16-5.
In the last day of the competition, the team lost both of their matches to Angola and to Ukraine, to finish at 16th place (out of 24) in the championship.
Find all the results for India at Rimini 2011 and more recaps on the BFI's official website.
The 3x3 festival was also marked by a number of individual competitions, such as shooting, free throw, skills, and a dunk contest. India's Loveneet Singh finished tied at third place in the shooting competition.
Individual Competitions Results: